It’s TI’s time to brag. We first met OMAP5 when the company’s VP of the OMAP division, Remi El-Ouazzane, unveiled the developer’s reference platform on our stage at CES. While there, he boasted OMAP5 as “the greatest platform on Earth right now,” but we were given only a few insights into the platform’s capabilities. Now, TI is back with a new wave of demos that better show the prowess of OMAP5 — a system-on-chip design that houses a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU clocked at just 800MHz, two Cortex-M4 cores for low-power processes, along with a PowerVR SGX 544 GPU that handles 3D compositions, and a number of accelerators such as TI’s IVA-HD, which supports both video encoding and decoding and plays 1080p video at a whopping 60fps. We were shown a demo of all these capabilities humming in unison on a 1080p display, along with a complex HTML5 mashup that adds credence to the company’s latest benchmark report. Photography geeks should know the system supports up to 14 megapixel cameras, and is able to process ten shots per second at that setting. We’re told to expect devices based on the OMAP5 platform by the end of the year, and if you’re anything like us, it’s going to be one hell of a wait. Hop the break for the demo.
We’ve already heard rumors that chip designer ARM has been trying to get its wares into the Macbook Air. While we can’t add anything to that particular story, we do have further evidence that ARM is going beyond smartphones and tablets in order to target bigger form factors. The company’s president, Tudor Brown, has just appeared at Computex to declare that ARM wants to conquer the “mobile PC market”, where the company currently only has a 10 percent share. He’s aiming for 15 percent by the end of this year, and an Intel-provoking 50 percent by 2015. “Mobile PC” is a pretty ambiguous category, but we think it’s safe to assume the focus is on low- and mid-power netbooks and ultraportables. Such devices could potentially run off ARM’s forthcoming multi-core chips — like perhaps the quad-core beast inside NVIDIA’s mind-blowing Kal-El processor, or the more distant Cortex-A15. It’s hard to imagine these tablet-centric chips ever competing with Intel’s top performers, but four years is a mighty long time in this business.