Feb 07 AT 3:14 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

Texas Instruments reveals OMAP5, multi-core Cortex-A15, products slated for second half of 2012

Today Texas Instruments announced their new OMAP5 platform, which they think till transform the concept of mobile because it “creates disruptive mobile experiences akin to Henry Ford’s transformative automobile advancements.” The 28nm OMAP5 platform features over a dozen specialized cores, but the ones we care about are the two Cortex-A15 MPcores which offer speeds up to 2 GHz per core.

The Cortex-A15 was first announced by ARM back in September and Texas Instruments was one of the three lead licensee partners. The A15 is the successor to the Cortex-A9 core found inside most dual-core platforms (like OMAP4 or Tegra 2) and it offers a 50% performance increase over A9 at clock-for-clock speeds.

Overall, the OMAP5 will deliver 3x the performance and 5x the graphics of the current generation OMAP4. TI went with Imagination Technologies to provide the GPU and the OMAP5 will feature the new multi-core PowerVR SGX544MP, which provides full support for DirectX 9 (Feature Level 3 with maximum hardware acceleration).

The OMAP5 wil also feature two ARM Cortex-M4 cores, which are specialized low-power processors designed to offload work from the main application processors and improve real-time responsiveness. Other additions to the OMAP5 include a multi-core imaging and vision processing unit, multi-core IVA HD video engine, and an advanced, multi-pipeline display sub-system that can support four simultaneous displays.

When it comes to availability, the OMAP5 is “expected to sample in the second half of 2011, with devices on the market in the second half of 2012.” In other words, don’t expect any actual OMAP5 products for another 1.5 to 2 years.

I’ve been pretty hard on Texas Instruments lately for failing to get consumers excited about buying OMAP products, so it’s nice to see them hold virtual press conferences and allow the media and bloggers to ask questions.

After today’s presentation, I’m still not sure how I view Texas Instruments from an Android perspective. They have yet to reveal any dual-core OMAP4 Android devices, but that is expected to change next week at Mobile World Congress. Hopefully we will see some awesome products, but most of the handset makers have already sided with NVIDIA (Motorola, LG) or Qualcomm (HTC) for the next generation of high-end, dual-core Android phones.

Texas Instruments also has the dual-core 1.5 GHz OMAP4440 coming in the second half of 2010, but that might have to compete with the quad-core 1.5 GHz Tegra 3 which we expect to be in devices by Christmas. It appears that TI will still have plenty of design wins, but at this stage I do not see them ruling the high-end smartphone market like they did the last couple years with the OMAP3 (Droid, Droid X, and Droid 2).

In closing, I appreciate that Texas Instruments is reaching out to bloggers and now I would like to see them reach out more to consumers. I understand that their main customers are primarily the handset and mobile device makers, but the industry is quickly changing and early adopters are beginning to become aware of the processors inside their devices. An average customer today could care less what CPU is inside their phone, but two years from now (when the OMAP5 hits) that could be a different story.

p.s. If someone from TI is reading this, please continue to focus on the end-user benefits that OMAP4 (and OMAP5) delivers and how that is different from your competition. For example, the first dual-core phone (Atrix 4G with Tegra 2) goes on pre-sale next week and I’m having a hard time explaining to people why they might want to wait on your dual-core and the advantages it offers. If all the dual-core processors are the same, why should we want to buy a phone that includes the OMAP4?

The OMAP 5 platform sports an impressive list of features and benefits supporting everything from open source platforms to complementary TI technologies, including:

Features Benefit *
Two ARM Cortex-A15 cores, up to 2 GHz each 3x higher performance to deliver the promise of mobile computing
Two ARM Cortex-M4 cores Low-power offload and real-time responsiveness
Multi-core 3D graphics and dedicated 2D graphics 5x higher graphics performance; accelerated and more responsive user interfaces
Multi-core imaging and vision processing unit Next-generation computational photography experiences — face recognition, object recognition and text recognition
Multi-core IVA HD video engine 1080p60 HD video and high performance, low bit rate video teleconferencing
Advanced, multi-pipeline display sub-system Supports multiple video/graphics sources for composition
Can support four simultaneous displays Supports three high-resolution LCD displays (up to QSXGA) and HDMI 1.4a 3D display
High performance, multi-channel DRAM and efficient 2D memory support Supports advanced use cases with multiple ARM cores and multimedia operation; provides better user experiences without lag or quality degradation
TI M-Shieldâ„¢ mobile security technology with enhanced cryptography support End-to-end device and content protection
New, high-speed interfaces Supports USB 3.0 OTG, SATA 2.0, SDXC flash memory and MIPI® CSI-3, UniPort-M and LLI  interfaces to support higher Wi-Fi and 4G network and HD content data rates
Optimized audio, power and battery management platform solutions Complementary TI devices for an optimized OMAP 5 platform solution
Next-generation connectivity technologies HD wireless video streaming, wireless display, mobile payments and enhanced location-based services

*Comparative statements compare OMAP 5 platform to OMAP4430 applications processor.

Via: PRNewswire

Source: TI

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Ruben

    2 front facing cameras with the OMAP5. 3D video chat anyone?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah I think someone will do 3D video chat this year with the current tech. Glasses-free 3D displays are coming soon.

  • http://Website Mark

    Too bad…Android games don’t even use up to 1/4 o the power of the processors we have now. All we’re stuck with is silly jump games, cutting of fruits and subpar racing games. I’m an Android fanboy but it’s embarrasing showing off the impressive features of your phone to your iPhone buddy but when it comes to games, you just get trumped.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Have you played any of the new Gameloft games? They are exactly the same as what the iPhone has now. Even better games are coming when the new Tegra 2 phones hit the market in a couple of weeks.

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  • http://Website Lucian Armasu

    It seems pretty much on par with…Tegra 3! And it’s coming a year later, which means it will actually compete with Tegra 4, and who knows that craziness Nvidia will release then – maybe a quad core A15?

    If we’re lucky, they’ll also announce Tegra 4 at MWC to spite TI. Can’t wait for the Tegra 3 demo’s and more details, though.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I think NVIDIA learned their lesson about announcing Tegra 2 so early. Tegra 3 definitely feels like it’s coming soon and I expect they will show off some demos next week at MWC.

  • http://flavors.me/davidmnoriega David

    I really like what this processor has to offer. More then likely they will cut out a lot of the parts for consumer phones, but I see this hardware in use in the business sector. The way I see it is a business tablet that can do video conferencing on the fly as well as using a dock system to run a presentation/conference. Imagine docking this thing in a podium, your own display with notes, the projector display and using the front facing camera and the rear facing(or even some sort of attachable camera system) to run it all. Plus encrypted by the hardware. Thats what I see when I read this.

  • samirsshah

    I agree with you, Taylor.

    There was a talk about ‘internet time’ a decade ago and everybody thought it went away with 2001 internet recession. But it has come back with ‘mobile time’ and now it is for real.

    Companies like Texas Instruments and Microsoft need to understand that nobody is going to wait for them for a year or more which is eons in ‘mobile time’.

    They should learn something from Google and Nvidia.

  • http://www.ti.com Brian Carlson

    Taylor, all dual-cores are not created equal – and it is much more than just the processors. You have to keep the ARMs and the multimedia engines fed with data/instructions or they stall and impact the user experience; sometimes dramatically. One of several key advantages of the OMAP 4 (and 5) is the dual-channel memory with 2x the bandwidth to be able to run all full-out without stalling the processors. There are many other differences in implementations that you can’t won’t from high-level specs. You will see a lot of exciting OMAP demos and end-products at MWC next week. I look forward to talking to you further in Barcelona.

    -Brian-TI OMAP PLM-

  • http://Website Quasar

    I can’t help thinking all these high powered things like this and Tegra 3 or 4 are a bit pointless given the state of battery tech.

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