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TI highlights Omap plan

Posted: 08 Nov 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Omap 4  Omap 5  mobile application processor 

Nvidia will use four A9 cores for its Kal-El quad core SoC, but Goren maintains TI's strategy of aiming for dual core A15s will ultimately pay off. "A single A15 is more powerful and has a better instruction set and lower power," he claimed, noting that this meant being able to do more on a device with the same battery power it took to do less.

"My belief is that the market will understand the difference between A9 and A15, customers will understand that it's all about balance," he said.

Omap also includes programmable accelerators including digital signal processing, image co-processing (IMX), and display controller flexibility.

"The size of silicon is becoming a limiting factor," Goren asserted, noting that thermal envelopes are starting to become a seriously limiting factor in that it is simply becoming impossible to put endless amounts of silicon inside a device, lest it overheat in such a small chassis.

"That's why we believe in making smart choices and decisions over what we put in there," he said.

Goren promised that Omap 5 would be even more impressive than its Omap 4 predecessor, with its dual ARM Cortex-A15s able to reach up to 2GHz of performance, an SGX544-MP2 GPU capable of 177MΔ/s, dual-channel LPDDR2 or DDR3 memory and a video encode/decode standard of 1080p60 and 1080p30, respectively. The chip will be manufactured on a 28nm CMOS low-power process and sport two additional ARM Cortex-M4 processors to help with CPU offloading for video, imaging, 3D graphics and more.

Omap 5 and forward
The next-generation Omap 5 also purportedly comes with a three-fold improvement in processing performance and five-fold 3D graphics improvement, while boasting an approximately 60 per cent power reduction from Omap 4.

"It will be the same, seamless user experience, but faster and running on less power," Goren said.

"Omap 5 is going to offer the most extraordinary user experiences, from life-like stereoscopic 3-D (S3D) videos and images, to gesture-controlled apps and computational photography," said Goren, noting that the hardware also supported a wide range of codecs, allowing users to browse and stream in all regions and systems.

"Will the competition catch up with our innovations? Yes, they do all the time, but our goal has always been to stay one step ahead, to stay out on the edge," Goren explained.

Multi-screen capability, multi OS booting and Wi-Fi display transfer-shifting content from smartphones to TVs and tablets, or vice versa- are just some of what TI is calling its "differentiating advantage."

Omap 4 already supports the use of three screens in parallel, said Goren, promising that Omap 5 would be capable of supporting four.

The company says it is also making large strides in terms of digital photography, with Omap supporting two 5MP cameras with no need for external logic and capable of processing all known S3D video (up to 2 x 720p30) and imaging standards. Omap also supports "on-the-fly" 2-D to 3-D conversion, said Goren.

"There is currently a mega-pixel race going on in the industry right now," Goren said, noting that as pixels continually became smaller, the problem of digital noise increases, and the need for better algorithms and computer resources to correct and compensate grow in importance.

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