For several months now the Android blogosphere has assumed that Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 will be the lead platform for the next version of Android, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. But we don’t know which specific processor will be inside the Nexus Prime.
Many of us speculated Google would go with the fastest chip Texas Instruments had to offer in Q4, which was the dual-core 1.5 GHz OMAP4460. This sounded believable because other upcoming devices like the Archos G9 tablets would also feature the 1.5 GHz OMAP4 and launch in October.
Unfortunately, today we learn that Archos has delayed the launch of their 1.5 GHz OMAP4 tablet because “there have been some delays in pushing it to its max.” Instead the device will launch at the start of 2012, “when it’s properly signed off by R&D.”
Archos says they have been “following the Texas Instruments roadmap” for their own release cycle, so it’s possible that other hardware partners might have to delay their products that were going to use the 1.5 GHz OMAP4.
There is no way Google is going to delay their flagship device, the Nexus Prime, into next year, so it’s highly likely they will go with the existing model dual-core 1 GHz OMAP4430. Archos is planning to replace the 1.5 GHz OMAP4460 with a “Turbo” OMAP4430 overclocked to 1.2 GHz, so this could be what we find inside the next Nexus.
Qualcomm and NVIDIA have both boosted their current dual-core offerings to 1.2 GHz, so we know TI could also hit those speeds since they use a similar ARM Cortex-A9 CPU core.
I’m sure someone out there will complain that Google didn’t use a 1.5 GHz CPU or an Exynos or Snapdragon S3 or Tegra 2 or [insert processor], but you should still expect the upcoming Nexus to be the fastest Android device we have ever seen.
Ice Cream Sandwich should include many optimizations for multi-core processors in smartphones, so the Nexus Prime will have a default advantage over any other dual-core phone running an older version of Android.
Would you be ok with a dual-core 1 GHz Nexus phone while your friends are rocking the new Snadpragon S3 phones at 1.5 GHz? I’ll put my money on Ice Cream Sandwich.