Texas Instruments plans to start sending samples of its new OMAP 5 processors to partners next week. The company also unveiled a reference design for an Android phone based on the new ARM Cortex-A15 dual core processor.

The 28nm chip is a dual core processor with clock speeds as high as 2 GHz, but it also offers a performance boost so that it should actually be as much as 3 times faster than a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor such as the TI OMAP 4 chip.

The new processors can handle 3D high definition video and can even upscale 2D video to 3D on the fly. It can also handle up to 8GB of RAM.

But the performance boost is only part of the story. OMAP 5 processors are also expected to use 60 percent less power than an OMAP 4 chip.

While the chip maker is moving to the sampling phase, it will still be a while before we see any actual products with the new processors. We might not see OMAP 5 phones or tablets until early 2013.

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6 replies on “TI OMAP 5 processors coming soon(ish)”

    1. Intel is actually working on it, Medfield is actually getting put into Smart Phones from Lenovo and Motorola later this year.  So they basically reached the point of being good enough to get into the mobile market.  Just not good enough to be on the top end yet.

      While 2013 is when they go 22nm and start radically altering their entire ATOM line for more serious competition.  While they’ll again reduce manufacturing size to 14nm in 2014.

      So you can liken their progress to be similar to how Nvidia entered the mobile market…  The first Tegra, like the Intel Moorestown, never really went anywhere.  Then the Tegra 2, like Medfield seems to be doing, took nearly a year to come out in actual products and really started to get noticed but soon got outclassed by next gen offerings from other companies.  Leaving Intel basically where Nvidia was just before it came out with the Tegra 3.  So it’s just a question of how much they can improve in a year and it’s usually a mistake to underestimate Intel.

  1. At the rate these SoCs are (supposedly) gaining performance, I wonder if we’ll be seeing a big (possibly 13″ and up) tablet from Adobe or Corel in the coming years.

    Imagine a tablet with touch and stylus/art-pen recognition and a well-calibrated display capable of running a full version of Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator or Corel Painter. Kinda like a Wacom Cintiq but without the need to connect it to an external computer. If done right, I’d be willing to pay premium price for it.

    Biggest hurdles will probably be absolute performance (handling very large files from Pro grade DSLRs and Medium-Format digital backs, and battery consumption.

    1. Adobe and Corel are software companies, they don’t make hardware.

      What I think you mean is perhaps they’ll offer more capable apps for the category than they do now.

      Adobe has already released some notable touch optimized Apps, though they’re not as good as the desktop software they offer.

      While ARM performance has increased significantly and will continue to advance significantly but their top of the line next gen chips are only getting to the performance range of Intel ATOMs, which is the bottom of the Intel range of chips.

      So don’t expect too much from them for a few more years yet.  ARM is remains intended for low power usage and not high end performance.

      Going multiple core and higher clock speeds help but they’re still limited to 32bit designs.  They are adopting improved memory management and in a couple of years will have some sample 64bit devices but all that requires significant redesign from what they offer now.

      Meanwhile, Intel just has the opposite problem of getting their higher performance chips to function at lower power requirements.

      Both are making progress and 2013 is basically when we’ll finally see significant overlap from both and 2014 will show which, if either, will start becoming dominant or whether the present status quo ultimately remains the same.

  2. This and the next gen Exynos chips are the ones I’ve been waiting to see in devices. . . . 

    I can see these things running desktop apps easily–either Win8 or Android if we can get some for Android.

    1. Yes, these next gen systems can finally start offering netbook range CPU performance.  So can provide the kind of performance needed to run a desktop OS and no longer need to be limited to just mobile OS like Android or iOS.

      However, Windows 8 is likely to be delayed well into the beginning of 2013.  Possibly as long as mid 2013 by some estimates.

      Though part of the reasons for delay could be they are waiting to see how good the next gen chips can handle Virtualizing as that could be key to enabling legacy support.

      The present lack of high end performance and inefficiency of running a program virtually instead of natively means trying to run legacy programs from Windows would be both sluggish and would cause the system to use far more power than normal and that would kill the normal run time advantage for ARM systems.

      While the Cortex A15 based chips promise a possible good enough improvement to make it a more reasonable option. 

      Otherwise Intel’s x86 offerings will still have the advantage in terms of better range of software support, along with being able to offer higher range performance, and Intel’s next gen offerings stand to seriously close the gap in power efficiency between x86 and ARM.

      Android though is no matter what a mobile OS, it was limited by design and that’s not going to be something easily worked around.  While alternatives like linux have never gotten the kind of market share that Windows has.  So a lot is riding on both Windows 8 for ARM coming out and how capable it will be on ARM systems.

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