New TI OMAP 5 SoC Packs Two Cortex A15 Cores

Texas Instruments has released a brand OMAP 5 platform which it hopes will disrupt the mobile industry the same way Henry Ford's Ford T cars did to the automobile market by packing more than sheer raw horsepower.

At the heart of OMAP 5 is two ARM Cortex A15 MP core processors with a clock speed of up to 2GHz; sitting next to them are two ARM Cortex-M4 embedded cores that are useful for "offloading real-time processing in order to improve low-level control and responsiveness", in other words, assist the main cores under heavy loads.

The OMAP 5 press release doesn't contain any details about the GPU used; it does promise five times higher performance with multi-core 3D and dedicated 2D graphics. TI already has a license from Imagination Technologies and is likely to have used the Series5XT, the same as the Sony NGP gaming console.

TI promises a 50 per cent performance boost over the Cortex-A9 at the same clock frequency with up to 8GB of dynamic memory access and hardware virtualization support, a feature that will be of interest to the server community.

In addition, OMAP 5 crams a multi-core imaging and vision processing unit for what TI calls "Next-generation computational photography experiences", IVA HD video engine and the ability to combine multiple video and graphics sources for composition.

TI's newest platform can support up to three displays with a (combined) resolution of 2560x2048 pixels; as expected 3D display is also supported as are USB 3.0 On the Go, SATA 2, SDXC flash memory and MIPI CSI-3 which is expected to bring in support for camera sensors with a resolution of 16-megapixel or more.

OMAP 5 System of Chip are expected to be manufactured using an advanced 28nm process and will be sampled in the second half of 2011. Two models will be offered, the OMAP5430 which has LPDDR2 support and the OMAP5432 which is compatible with DDR3 and DDR3L memory.