Sometimes less really is more. Qualcomm has been telling us their dual-core Snapdragon S4 is faster than competing quad-core chips and now Texas Instruments is echoing that same message. This time they take a direct shot at NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 by matching it up with their OMAP5 development platform.
The video below is extremely boring, but it shows how OMAP5 is faster than Tegra 3 at web browsing, while playing a MP3 file and downloading a movie in the background. In the demo they claim their OMAP5 is only running two ARM Cortex-A15 CPU cores at 800 MHz, while “a commercial device powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor” (aka Transformer Prime) is running at 1.3 GHz.
Texas Instruments showed me their OMAP5 platform behind closed doors at CES, but I was not allowed to take any pictures of it. However, they later demoed it live on the Engadget show and some lucky attendees captured it on video (see below). OMAP5 looks like a very impressive platform, but the exact availability has not been specified.
I was told at CES that devices powered by OMAP5 should arrive by Q4 2012 or early 2013. That makes the demo above kind of pointless since it compares an unreleased processor with something currently on the market, but it proves the obvious point that Cortex-A15 is a great improvement over Cortex-A9.
Samsung is also developing their new Exynos 5250 processor with two ARM Cortex-A15 cores, which goes into mass production next quarter. From what we know today, it looks like Samsung will beat out Texas Instruments and be first to market with a mobile processor based on Cortex-A15.
Hopefully Texas Instruments will provide more information about possible OMAP5 devices next week at Mobile World Congress.