At CES 2012, Texas Instruments showed off an OMAP 5-based reference platform, which ran Android 4.0 swimmingly well. Just as promised, the new SoCs will be shipping out to partners as early as next week, so we can expect them to show up in products sometime in Q3 or Q4. Apart from mobile phones, Remi El-Ouazzane, VP of OMAP said that they have been working very closely with Microsoft and we should expect to see OMAP 5 chipsets in notebooks by the year end or early 2013. They are already testing Windows 8 on this new platform and if all goes as planned we could see products hit the shelves, this year itself.
Heading to a notebook near you
OMAP 5 is big jump from OMAP 4, as first and foremost, it will be produced using the new 28nm fabrication process, so it will be cheaper to manufacture as well as draw a lot less power, so better battery life. The SoC will also use ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 CPUs, two of them, to be precise. Although they run at 800MHz, the performance is more or less the same as two Cortex-A9 processors running at 1.5GHz. It will also feature a dual-core PowerVR SGX544MP graphics chip along with a 2D accelerator for handling UI acceleration, etc. The mobile processor space seems to be heading in the same direction as the desktop space, when companies like Intel and AMD abandoned the ‘GHz race’ in favour of more efficient, multi-core CPUs. With TI all set to enter the notebook market, it's going to be even more difficult to choose a Windows-based notebook.