Graphics, Hardware

Texas Instruments Announces OMAP 5, First Chipset Based on ARM Cortex-A15


Texas Instruments on Monday announced its new OMAP 5 mobile platform, a next-generation, 28 nanometer mobile chipset that will enable Kinect-like, gesture-based interfaces and potentially support Microsoft’s new, ARM-based version of Windows.

OMAP 5 is the company’s first chipset based on the brand-new ARM Cortex-A15 processor, which offers support for more than 4GB of memory and multiple operating systems virtualized in hardware.

Texas Instrument’s vice president Remi El-Ouazzane explained that the OMAP 5 processor "leverages two ARM Cortex-A15 MPCores – the most advanced ARM architecture to date – capable of speeds of up to 2 GHz per core."

The new OMAP 5 dual-core boasts up to 3x processing performance and a five-fold 3D graphics improvement, with up to a 60 percent power reduction compared to the OMAP 4.

In addition to the two Cortex-A15 cores, the OMAP 5 processor includes individual, dedicated engines for video, imaging and vision, DSP, 3D graphics, 2D graphics, display and security. The processor also includes two ARM Cortex-M4 processors for offloading real-time processing from the Cortex-A15 cores to improve low-level control and responsiveness of mobile devices.

Mike Inglis, executive vice president and general manager of the ARM Processor Division, said:

The OMAP 5 processor highlights the advantage of the ARM business model. The relationship enables product differentiation through the integration of low power multi-core ARM processor cores with the partners’ own system-on-chip technologies, including power management, audio and video processing. ARM is proud to have contributed to the OMAP 5 platform, which enables OEM customers to leverage the extensive ARM software ecosystem to quickly deliver innovative new mobile solutions.

The OMAP 5 processor can support up to four cameras in parallel, as well as record and playback of stereoscopic 3D video in 1080p resolution, and perform real-time conversion of 2D content to stereoscopic 3D at 1080p. The new processor can also deliver advanced short- and long-range gesturing applications, as well as full-body and multi-body interactive gestures, utilizing either 2D or 3D cameras. It will also support interactive projection apps where the user "touches and drags" projected images on both a table top or wall.

The ARM licensed partners, like Nvidia, Qualcomm, Marvell, Samsung, Freescale, Motorola and Texas Instruments are just now delivering their high-performance version of the dual-core Cortex-A9 IP. Nvidia seems to be leading the pack with products and a clearer roadmap. The Intel Atom camp has been pretty quiet of late. However, we doubt they are all washed up. Barcelona and the Mobile World Congress is in a few more days, but that may be a bit early for an Intel Atom announcement. However, by Computex Taipei 2011 in June, Intel will be laying it on thick about their newest Atom platform.

We bet the ARM partners are racing to be first to show the newly ported version of Windows for ARM. Texas Instruments’ OMAP 5 platform is expected to sample in the second half of 2011, with devices on the market in the second half of 2012. Come January at CES 2012, the OMAP 5 platform will power the new ARM-version of Windows running on tablets, netbooks and laptops that will be ready to preview.

Source: Texas Instruments

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