Texas Instruments unveils the OMAP 5 platform

The ultimate smartphone SoC?

WERE STILL WAITING for the first retail devices to arrive powered by TI’s OMAP 4 series of SoC’s but that hasn’t stopped TI from unveiling details about its next generation OMAP 5 family of SoC’s which are set to be manufactured using a 28nm fabrication process and feature not only multi-core processors, but also multi-core graphics. The OMAP 5 series of SoC’s are based on ARMs Cortex A15 MPCore and the PowerVR SGX544-MPx graphics which should offer some very impressive overall performance in the mobile market space.

TI is currently working on two different models of the OMAP 5 series, but we’re sure more models will follow ahead of the launch. First up we have the OMAP5430 which will be used mainly in smartphones and other compact devices and it supports dual-channel LPDDR2 package-on-package memory. It will have two ARM Cortex A15 MPCore processors with clock speeds of up to 2GHz and it also sports two ARM Cortex M4 processors that are meant to improve real-time responsiveness and handle low-power offloading.

The OMAP5430 also features PowerVR SGX544-MPx multicore 3D graphics and has hardware acceleration for 1080p60 and 1080p30 3D video encoding and decoding. It also supports up to four camera modules that can record 3D stills and video and it can also drive four displays simultaneously. The OMAP5430 will be package in a 14x14mm package which will include an unspecified amount of RAM.

The OMAP5432 offers the same base features, but it a larger 17x17mm BGA chip that uses desktop DDR3 or DDR3L memory and it’s been designed for larger devices such as tablets and smartbooks. Otherwise the only difference between the two models is that the 5430 supports 24 Megapixel camera sensors while the 5432 will only support 20 Megapixel camera sensors. The 5432 also has fewer peripheral interfaces which seem a little bit odd, especially as it’s been designed for larger devices where you’d expect to find more additional features.

Now to the bad news, TI won’t be releasing the OMAP 5 series of SoC’s until sometime next year which means that what the company has revealed today can be regarded as pretty pointless information for the next 10-12 months for most of us, despite promises of up to five times the graphics performance of the OMAP 4 series among its many advantages over the devices that are just about to be announced. Still, it’s a good way to keep its competitors on their toes and consumers longing for the type of devices that will be available next year, even if it feels like a long wait right now.S|A

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