Texas Instruments has made some big gains this year when it comes to its ARM-based mobile processors. They’ve featured prominently in several hot new Android smartphones and tablets — like the Kindle Fire. an OMAP 4430 is also the chip that powers the tablet the fire is based on, the BlackBerry PlayBook. but the current-gen Cortex-A9-based OMAP processors don’t hold a candle to the OMAP 5 built around the Cortex-A15 architecture.
TI decided CES was the perfect place to show off the first reference device running its latest and greatest chip. Look past the phone’s chunky design — it’s just a reference design, after all. the important take-away is the responsiveness shown while flicking through Ice Cream Sandwich on the device. Video playback is silky-smooth, and TI says the OMAP 5 is capable of pumping out 1080P content at over 60 frames per second.
Remi El-Ouazzane, TI’s VP of OMAP, says that the OMAP 5 chip running at just 800MHz is capable of outperforming ARM9 chips clocked at nearly double that speed. Improved performance is always a good thing, but it’s just as important that the OMAP 5 can do it without breaking a sweat — since that should equate to battery gains and a reduction in operating temperatures as well.
Also worth noting is that EL-Ouazzane says Windows 8 is running “perfectly well” on OMAP 5. Texas Instruments says that it’s working very closely with Microsoft and that you can expect to see OMAP 5 in a variety of Windows 8 devices. From Ultrabooks to tablets, OMAP 5 will be popping up in all kinds of new consumer devices. Expect to see them hitting store shelves later this year, possibly right around the time that Microsoft launches Windows 8.
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