At the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday, Texas Instruments showed off the company’s OMAP 5 chipset in a reference platform running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 28nm system on a chip (SOC) features a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU, 2MB L2 cache, a PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU and a dual-channel LPDDR2-533 memory interface. The OMAP 5 supports 24 and 20-megapixel cameras for front and rear 3D HD video recording. It also supports up to 8GB of dual channel DDR3 memory, and includes 3 USB 2.0 ports and a SATA 2.0 controller. “This is the greatest platform on Earth right now… way ahead of Apple, and it’s the first Cortex-A15 (which runs 2x faster than the Cortex-A9) product on the market,” Texas Instruments vice president Remi El-Ouazzane told Engadget. ”When running two Cortex-A15 chips at 800MHz, it’s more or less the same performance as running two Cortex-A9s at 1.5GHz. We’re working on multiple form factors — tablets, thin-and-lights — and we think ARM is going to bring tablets to the masses.” The first devices featuring the OMAP 5 chipset aren’t expected to ship until late 2012 or early 2013. More →
Today at Mobile World Congress, mobile processor juggernaut Texas Instrument held a press event to offer some additional details about its OMAP 4 and 5 processor lines. Greg Delagi, the company’s senior vice president and general manager, gave the keynote — which took place right on the showroom floor. He emphatically talked about the need to push the capabilities of “smart devices” forward while being mindful of the constraints battery technology puts on the industry. Both RIM and LG were brought on stage — the PlayBook and Optimus 3D both use the OMAP 4 platform — and they too heralded the headway TI is making with its system on a chip (SoC) OMAP processors. The company even has technology in place that will bring cost effective, power efficient gesture recognition and Pico DLP technology to a wider array of smartphones and smart devices; it works just like the Kinect. We have some video of the motion-based gesture recognition, in action running on prototype hardware after the break, along with some of Mr. Delagi’s thoughts on why OMAP is such an effective mobile processor. More →
Earlier today, Texas Instruments took the time to give us a comprehensive overview of some of its OMAP 4 projects. The OMAP 4 platform is incredibly powerful, with immense hardware acceleration providing a haven for offloading graphics and other traditionally CPU-intensive tasks off the actual processor. The company walked us through a number of development prototypes, and we got a chance to see some truly incredible innovation in the video conferencing and 3D-use arenas. Far from simply proof-of-concept craziness, the stuff we got some hands on time with will ultimately have significant real world implications and benefits for the end user. Among the most exciting was 4-way, 720p video conferencing between 4 mobile devices. Granted, a technology like this is held hostage by bandwidth limitations, but the actual technology is there and ready to go. Plus, with the impending LTE revolution, concerns like this will slowly start to become a thing of the past. Hit the jump for the rest of our thoughts!
Last night, LG threw a laser-packed bash to welcome the addition of the Optimus Black and Optimus 2X to their stable of Android-powered handsets. While both devices were on display, the Optimus 2X was clearly the star of the show. Featuring an nVidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor running at 1GHz per core, the Optimus 2X is an incredibly powerful handset that, along with this year’s other Tegra-powered phones, will help to set a new standard for smartphone performance. The graphics on this thing were stunning, the screen is gorgeous, and the phone absolutely flies along. The handsets on display were running Froyo, but all of the display material noted that Gingerbread is all but a foregone conclusion as soon as it hits the streets. LG had 3 of these things hooked up to what looked like 42″ displays via the included HDMI output, and the gaming and graphics performance on the big screen was pretty incredible. No frame-rate issues, full HD display, and more. Really cool stuff.
The Optimus Black, on the other hand, is all about aesthetics. It was super responsive to be sure, but its 1GHz OMAP3630 processor paled in comparison to the Tegra. That said, it’s not as if the Optimus Black didn’t have its virtues. The device is super thin, is really well manufactured and designed, it definitely feels like more of a luxury/up-market device in hand. The Optimus Blacks were also running Froyo, but featured a new Wi-Fi direct feature that allows for long range peer-to-peer connections. The Optimus Black also has what is being touted as the “world’s first front-facing 2 megapixel camera” allowing for relatively passable shots from the forward camera, and definitely paving the way for a bit of a higher quality video chatting experience than we’ve come to expect from the mobile arena. Oh, and did we mention that LG brought lasers? Click on over to the respective galleries for more shots and some video from the event!
Details on ARM’s next generation Cortex A-series processor — code named Eagle — have yet to be fully disclosed, but that hasn’t stopped Texas Instrument from letting us know they’ve licensed it. Via a press release, TI announced that it is, “the first company to partner with ARM in the conception and definition of the next generation ARM Cortex-A series processor core to be announced later this year.” Texas Instrument quips that they aim to, “raise the bar in high-performance, power-efficient computing with upcoming OMAP platform solutions intended to radically transform devices while enriching the mobile lifestyle.” Hit the jump for the full release. More →
A post by p3Droid on the My Droid World forums claims to shed some light on the rumored locked bootloader of the DROID X. According to the posting, the Droid X ships with an e-fuse chip that locks the bootloader and will brick the phone if the bootloader is modified. The news is spreading like wildfire with many would-be ROM flashers wondering if they should avoid the DROID X like a plague. This breaking news may not be as dire as many are claiming, as a google search of OMAP3 and e-fuse reveals that current OMAP handsets already have e-fuse in place as part of the M-Shield hardware security technology built into TI’s OMAP system on a chip. It is on the very hackable DROID and the not-so-hacking-friendly Milestone, but it is not being used by Motorola to lock the bootloader of the handset. The current theory being put forth by the non-alarmists in the Android hacking community suggests that the DROID X is locked in a similar manner to the Milestone. Though it may be difficult to crack, and may lead to many hairs being pulled out, mucking with the bootloader probably won’t brick your phone. As the DROID X lands into the hands of the Android hacking community in the upcoming days, we should know a lot more about the state of rooting and flashing on Verizon’s flagship Android handset. Be calm. Stay tuned. It’s just a phone. More →
According to a recent Digitimes article, the China-based Commercial Times is reporting Compal may be forced to delay upcoming shipments of smartphones to Palm. The source states:
Shipments of Palm’s two smartphones will be delayed as Compal is waiting for Qualcomm’s new chipset solutions that will enable better performance, said the paper.
Such a vague statement is bound to get the rumor mill churning at light speed as people interpret one of the smartphones to mean “Palm Pre”. Good news for Pre fans as this rumor can be debunked before it even gets off the ground. While it is true that Palm has been rumored to have placed a large order for several models of smartphones from Compal, these handsets are supposedly Windows Mobile smartphones — not the WebOS-powered Palm Pre. In fact, the Pre, according to an earlier Digitimes article, is expected to be assembled by Chi Mei, a small Taiwan-based manufacturer known for assembling Motorola handsets. Further debunking the “Pre delay” rumor, the Pre is expected to contain a Ti OMAP processor and not a Qualcomm processor which is the source of the rumored delay. So, Pre fans, dry those eyes and consider the Palm Pre to still be on track for a 1H 2009 release.