CHIPMAKER Texas Instruments (TI) has announced a 1.8GHz dual core OMAP4 system-on-chip (SoC) for use in high-end smartphones and tablets.
TI's OMAP4 line of ARM-based SoCs currently tops out at 1GHz, however the firm announced that its dual-core 45nm OMAP4470 chip can be clocked all the way up to 1.8GHz. There's also an improved graphics core based on the PowerVR SGX544 design, which TI claims delivers a 2.5x improvement in graphics performance over previous OMAP4 chips.
Remi El-Ouazzane, VP of TI's OMAP platform business touted the chip's ability to render high-end user interfaces (UIs) as a big selling point for this chip and mobile devices as a whole. El-Ouazzane said, "Superior mobile computing relies on a user experience that dwarfs all others. Fast and crisp Web browsing, HD and liquid UIs, support for the latest applications-these are the elements consumers judge and buy their devices on."
TI's OMAP4470 can output resolutions of up to 2048x1536 or equal to, the firm claims, three "high-definition" screens, including HDMI and stereoscopic 3D output, though it didn't define what it means by 'high definition'.
The PowerVR SGX544 core inside TI's OMAP4470 supports DirectX, OpenGL, OpenVS and even OpenCL, meaning that it can not only be used for games but also for GPGPU computing. So it's no surprise that TI claims the chip is intended for smartphones and tablets running Android and Microsoft's Windows 8, which according to the firm "will benefit from the OMAP4470 processor's enhanced capabilities".
El-Ouazzane's claim that users are wowed by flash interfaces should come as no surprise. Google in particular has worked hard trying to jazz up Android's UI for tablets, knowing that punters can be swayed by swish transitions, fancy backgrounds and impressive widgets, even though they bog down the processor. Now it seems that SoC makers such as TI have latched onto this and are promoting chips specifically aimed at helping device manufacturers render fancy UIs without crippling other more important services.
TI said that its OMAP4470 SOC will start sampling in the second half of 2011 with devices using the chip tipping up in the first half of 2012. It added that the chips will be sold to high-volume mobile OEMs and ODMs and will not be available through distributors. µ
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