Texas Instruments announces OMAP 5 processor for smartphones, tablets

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 9:35 by Tech Correspondent

Texas Instruments has announced the next generation processor that will be added to its popular OMAP family, the TI OMAP 5 mobile applications platform.

The OMAP 5 is meant for mobile devices, such as, smartphones and tablets. TI OMAP is a productivity tool that offers PC-like performance, entertainment and simplified complex day-to-day needs, whether it is conducting a stereoscopic 3D video conference, or projecting a document or gaming experience on your HDTV using wireless display technology.

The TI OMAP 5 include two A-15 processors and additional smaller processors for functions including sound and video processing, which will enable it to deliver three times the performance of its predecessor OMAP 4. Incidentally, devices using OMAP 4 are yet to hit the market; RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook uses one.

The OMAP 5 offers up to 3x processing performance and five-fold 3D graphics improvement, providing nearly 60 percent average power reduction compared to a sample user experience on the OMAP 4 platform. The OMAP 5 architecture utilizes combination of different processing cores to provide the best possible user experience.

In addition to the two Cortex-A15 cores, the OMAP 5 processor includes individual, dedicated engines for video, imaging and vision, DSP, 3D graphics, 2D graphics, display and security. The processor also includes two ARM Cortex-M4 processors for offloading real-time processing from the Cortex-A15 cores to improve low-level control and responsiveness of mobile devices.

Another key feature of the OMAP 5 processor is that it can support up to four cameras in parallel, as well as record and play back S3D video in 1080p quality. Such a high number of camera inputs will support Kinect-style gesture recognition controllers. Each can capture images of up to 24 megapixels. Moreover, the TI OMAP 5 can perform real-time conversion of 2D content to S3D at 1080p resolution.

The new TI processor can deliver advanced short- and long-range gesturing applications, as well as full-body and multi-body interactive gestures, utilizing either 2D or S3D cameras. When the OMAP 5 processor is combined with a TI DLP Pico projector and a camera, it can enable interactive projection, which means that the user can touch and drag the projected image on either a table top or wall.

The OMAP 5 processor can interface with a wide variety of other sensor technologies also to enable touchless sensing, such as proximity sensing, capacitive sensing and ultrasonic sensing. TI claims these two processors as the first devices in the family with components that manage wireless connectivity, power management, battery management and audio management functions.

The OMAP5430 processor will be offered in a 14x14mm Package-on-Package (PoP) with LPDDR2 memory support. The OMAP5432 processor is offered in a 17x17mm BGA package with DDR3/DDR3L memory support.

TI also plans to develop compatible ARM Cortex-A15 processor-based solutions for broader market applications across TI’s product portfolio. The company will release the OMAP 5 processors during the second half of this year, with plans to have devices on the market during the second half of 2012.