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TI goes crazy, announces OMAP5 quad-core 2GHz mobile processors

I can hear Tim Taylor grunting already. If you’re looking for more power on your smartphone, it looks like Texas Instruments is about to crank the volume up to eleven.

Remember when the first 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chips hit the scene and we amazed by having a “G” in the mobile CPU’s clock speed? And now NVIDIA Tegra2 is winning many hearts with its dual core wonders? Not to be outdone, the upcoming TI OMAP5 chips are going to boast four cores of processing.

“But the NVIDIA Tegra3 beat them to the punch!

True. The Tegra3 will do the quad-core thing, but “only” at up to 1.5GHz. The new OMAP5 platform will offer four cores going nutso at up to 2GHz. That’s supposed to offer up to 3x the processing power of the OMAP4 (which will power the BlackBerry PlayBook) while improving power consumption by 60%.

What’s interesting is that the four cores aren’t the same. You get two ARM Cortex-A15 cores (up to 2GHz) and two ARM Cortex-M4 cores. Combined, OMAP5 is said to support up to three QSXGA (2560×2048) displays at the same time.

Sure, that all sounds good on paper, but will it work in practice? That’s the bad news. Samples aren’t going to get shipped out to manufacturers until late 2011 with actual OMAP5-powered devices following in mid-2012. By then, Tim might have already Franken-welded four Tegra2 chips together for more power. (Grunts notwithstanding.)




About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. TI’s OMAP5 roadmap shows that they are going to be a total loser. first of all, their OMAP5 is same architecture as tegra3. The difference is OMAP5 is not here yet while tegra3 is already taped out. The 2nd difference is OMAP5 is on 28nm while tegra3 is on 40nm.

    the 2nd difference is the key. 28nm is not here yet. TI is trying to catch up using a new process tech and a new arch. This is crazy. Even Intel didn’t change process and arch at the same time (so called tick-tock). No one has succeed in trying this in the whole semi industry history. TI is going to come up with something late/not working.

    The other issue is I doubt 2G would be good for mobile. As we cranked up the speed, will see a lot more power consumption for the same perf. The right way is to add more cores instead of crank up the speed.

  2. Until all these promised improvements in battery capacity take place, we’ll be tied to that charger…

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