Posts Tagged ‘omap’
It seems like every ARM chip manufacturer wants a piece of Windows 8 here at Computex 2012 — and for good reason. Hot on the heels of Asus’ Tegra 3-equipped Tablet 600 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4-based development tablet, Texas Instruments is showing Windows RT on its very own OMAP 4470-based system. The 1.5GHz dual-core SoC features a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and leads the competition with a dual-channel memory interface. We chatted with Bill Crean, Product Manager of the OMAP Processor Business Unit who showed us Microsoft’s latest OS running on TI’s development tablet. The demo looked snappy enough, providing some insight about what to expect from some of Toshiba’s upcoming devices. No word yet on a quad-core version. Enjoy our hands-on gallery below and take a peek after the break for our demo video.
Gallery: Windows RT on OMAP 4470 hands-on
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Texas Instruments announced earlier today that they are partnering with Harman and iRobot to provide OMAP 5 as the core processor for new products being developed in these two companies. To understand what this means in TI’s greater strategy, we need to back up a bit to take a look as some other initiatives they have going on and see where they all tie together.
TI’s previously announced WiLink 8 chip promises to offer a unified set of communications controllers to electronics manufacturers. This will manifest itself in many kinds of consumer electronics, especially mobile phones and tablets. What it means is that manufacturers will have a way to easily and more cheaply offer NFC, FM, cellular data and other connectivity all from a single integrated chip instead of having to include individual controllers. This will save board space and time. Oh yeah, and money too.
As I said, the teaser announcement about WiLink 8 came out 2 weeks ago, but today at the Mobile World Congress, we were able to see some practical examples like the one below where physical NFC tokens can be used to authenticate for a variety of services.
Again, this is not announcing that NFC is now in phones or tablets, but rather how NFC can be put into phones and tablets.
The belief is that the integrated approach could speed the adoption of NFC inside devices because it is easier for manufacturers to implement.
This is a powerful B2B strategy.
But Texas Instruments is also revealing an interesting content strategy as well and this is most easily seen with further developments to their OMAP 5 chipset.
So what exactly is OMAP 5? For the unfamiliar, it is a chipset that smartly splits processing power amongst multiple cores.
First announced last year around this time, the OMAP5 enables some fairly compelling content to run well on mobile devices. And many 3rd party developers are taking advantage of the chip’s power to push the envelope of mobile video, AR and more.
In this way, you might call TI the brand behind the brands in that they provide the hardware platform that enables some of the most complex mobile content to date. And content is central to their strategy. This is evident in the multiple agreements they have been setting up over the last several months, like the previously mentioned Harman and iRobot agreements.
But Harman is an automotive company. What does that have to do with phones and tablets?
Herein lies another key part of their total strategy which is expanding their hardware development efforts beyond just phones and tablets and including a multitude of consumer electronics. This strategy is for embedding functionality in everything from thermostats to on-board car entertainment to wearables.
And this brings us back to their partnership announcement with Harman and iRobot. These companies obviously feel that the OMAP5 — which uses only two ARM A15 processors, unlike some other architectures that use quad cores — is powerful enough for their needs. (The demo TI played at their press conference showed their processor running a multitude of tests about 100 seconds faster than one of their competitors).
Well, if our hands-on at CES didn’t sell you on TI’s next-gen OMAP 5 platform, perhaps some more specs revealed recently at MWC 2012 will. We’ve known about its dual Cortex-A15 and Cortex-M4 architecture since this time last year, but we didn’t know that those M4 cores are there to handle real-time processing of multimedia — like video encoding and decoding — which TI claims can provide up to ten percent power savings. Additionally, the company’s wunderkind SoC will pack a dual-core PowerVR SGX544 GPU and a dedicated 2D hardware-accelerated composition engine to deliver great graphics and lower power consumption than other mobile silicon solutions. OMAP 5 also comes with a multi-tasking image signal processor that can use up to four image sensors at the same time, or take 1080p 60fps video while snapping 12-megapixel stills simultaneously. So, you ready for a super-speedy OMAP 5 chip in your next smartphone yet? Those who are still skeptical can peruse the PR after the break for a full rundown of its considerable capabilities.
LG’s been mighty stingy with details about its 3D smartphone, but some very promising ones have just trickled out of Barcelona ahead of Mobile World Congress — in keeping with the companies theme of doubling everything, the LG Optimus 3D will ship with a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4 chip. Considering that we’ve seen that particular SOC drive three screens, we’re guessing that a single 4.3-inch stereo display (yes, 4.3-inch is confirmed) will be old hat, and we’ve certainly seen the included PowerVR SGX540 graphics throw around some weight in many a Galaxy S. Raw specs aside, though, the Optimus 3D has a feature that we’ve been waiting on in Android for a while: LG says it will have “four times more video decoders than competing designs.” Admittedly, that probably means it will still only recognize about eight video formats in total, but as long as we can play the vast majority of our anime music video library without re-encoding the lot, we’ll promise to only grumble occasionally. Deal? PR after the break.
Continue reading LG Optimus 3D has dual-core 1GHz OMAP 4 CPU, video codecs up the wazoo
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Texas Instruments has taken a step towards the enabling next huge jump in mobile chip performance.
The company on Monday announced it will be the first partner and licensee for the next generation of ARM Cortex-A processors, a line of chips which has been heretofore known as “Eagle.” The processors will be used in the next generation of TI OMAP systems-on-a-chip in mobile devices, which are effectively an entire generation of consumer products away.
Consumers have had access to devices built on TI’s OMAP 3 platform — which is based on the ARM Cortex-A8 core — for about a year. Motorola’s original Droid smartphone launched in late 2009 is based on the 550MHz OMAP 3430, while the Droid X is based on a 1GHz OMAP 3640 processor. The Archos 5, 5G, and 7 multimedia tablets, likewise are all powered by OMAP 3 chips.
While devices such as the Droid X are regarded as the highest end of smartphone technology, the platform design has been available since 2007, and its successor has been available since 2009 (PDF Here).
Texas Instruments incorporated the dual-core Cortex-A9 into its OMAP 4 platform, and claims it increases performance by approximately 150% over the OMAP 3 family.
Products based on this design, however, have not yet come to market outside of development circles.
The new “Eagle” chip will be used in the subsequent generation, which will presumably be called OMAP 5. The earliest you’re likely to see phones using that platform will be 2012.
Though little is known about “Eagle” right now, this marks the official beginning of the new highest-end ARM architecture for Texas Instruments.
Photo Credit: SVTronics
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Texas Instruments Embraces Next-Gen Mobile Processor