Texas Instruments To Launch Feature-Rich, ARM-Based Mobile OMAP 5 Processors

TI on Thursday said its next generation OMAP mobile applications processor, based on a 28-nm fabrication process with four ARM Cortex cores, will be available later this year. The Dallas, Texas-based manufacturer said its OMAP 5 chip offers 3x the processing power and 5x the graphics processing capability of the OMAP 4, while reducing power consumption by an average of 60 percent.

"The bridge to true mobile computing enablement was missing until today," said Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president for TI's OMAP platform business unit, in a statement. "The OMAP 5 platform will be at the heart of driving the mobile computing revolution by delivering the highest computing, graphics and multimedia performance possible within the low power budget required by mobile form factors."

The OMAP 5 will feature two ARM Cortex-A15 CPU cores each running at 2-GHz speed and two additional ARM Cortex-M4 cores that will allow the A15 to offload real-time processing in order to improve the device's responsiveness and power efficiency, according to TI.

ARM-based chips claim over 95 percent market share in the tablet PC segment, according to analyst firm Gartner. Apple's A4 mobile processors, which power the iPhone and the IPad, run on ARM's Cortex architecture and Google's Android mobile processing platform for mobile devices leverages Cortex CPUs on devices built by manufacturers including Samsung, Qualcomm, and TI.

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TI says the OMAP 5 will support stereoscopic 3D applications including video conferencing through additional dedicated multicore 2D and 3D graphics processing, running alongside multicore imaging and vision processing, and a multicore IVA HD video engine as well as display and security capabilities built onto the chip. The OMAP 5 will be able to support up to four HD displays, or four cameras, running in parallel, according to TI.

TI says the OMAP 5 will allow users to record and playback 3D video, or convert 2D video to 3D, at 1080p resolution. It supports advanced gesturing applications, touch-less sensory technology, and computational photography applications such as face recognition, object recognition and text recognition. OMAP 5 chips include support for DRAM and 2D memory, M-shield mobile security technology, USB 3.0 OTG, SATA 2.0, SDXC flash memory, as well as Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, according to TI.

TI expects to offer samples of the OMAP 5 processors in the second half of 2011 and bring the processors to market inside devices in the second half of 2012.