It's a tough old world out there in the mobile marketplace, with smartphones increasing exponentially in power. No sooner did talk of Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor, powering the BlackBerry PlayBook, sound like the stuff of dreams, the likes of Qualcomm hit back with news of quad core processors coming in the not too distant future. Hoping to keep it an even fight, Texas Instruments has announced that its latest processor, OMAP 5 will be available to partners this year and will bring with it dual, 2.0GHz cores.
The first chip to use ARM's Cortex-A15 processor design, it will offer 2-3x the processing performance of OMAP 4, along with a 5x graphics bump, all while using 60 per cent of the power. As a complete system on a chip (SoC), it will also include GPS, Bluetooth, FM and 3G circuitry. It will be built on a 28nm process and offer support for recording and playing back 1080p video, displaying 3D content, and support all the latest connectivity including HDMI and USB 3.0.
Available in two flavours, the OMAP5430 for smartphones and OMAP5432 for larger devices, expect to see the chip powering tablets and superphones that will be hitting shop shelves towards the end of the year and into next year.
With Nvidia's tegra 2 platform already offering dual-core performance in phones that will be available in the next couple of months, competition is sure to be fierce, so it will be interesting to see if TI can weather the storm. One thing's for sure, we're in for a truly bumper year for mobile devices - we can't wait!