TI Sampling OMAP 4 Platform

At the Mobile World Congress show, TI officials said they have begun sampling the company's OMAP 4 processor platform, and that the technology is on pace for full production in the second half of 2010. TI also announced the Blaze development platform and third-party software running on OMAP 4.

Texas Instruments has begun sampling its upcoming OMAP 4 processor platform, and is showcasing the product at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.

TI announced at the show Feb. 15 that the platform, first talked about at the MWC show in 2009, will be in production in the second half of 2010.

The technology is based on the Cortex-A9 multicore design from ARM, and is being aimed at mobile devices that require the high performance of a traditional computer but with lower power consumption, according to TI officials.

Also at the show, TI officials are rolling out the Blaze development platform and boasting of the number of partners developing applications running on OMAP 4. Those partners include The Astonishing Tribe, which is creating a 3D user interface; Movial, which is bringing Adobe Flash 10.1 to the platform; and Teleca, whose software enables Google's Android mobile operating system to run on multiple screens.

"We are thrilled to see our partners accelerate the OMAP 4 platform's power to make the desktop experience on smartphones a reality," Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president and general manager of TI's OMAP Platform Business unit, said in a statement. "We are confident that the next generation of OMAP 4 platform-based devices will truly 'wow' consumers."

ARM chip designs are becoming a larger player in the mobile device space, according to some analysts. ABI Research in January predicted that by 2013, mobile systems based on ARM chip designs will outsell x86-based devices. Currently, about 90 percent of netbooks, smartbooks and other ultramobile devices are based on x86 processors, particularly from Intel, according to ABI.

The Blaze mobile development platform will be the first in a family of OMAP 4-based development tools, according to TI officials. Blaze, which also is due in the second half of the year, brings peripheral support to OMAP 4, including dual 3.7-inch WVGA capacitive touch displays, HDMI output for third-screen display support, DLP Pico projectors, three multi-megapixel cameras, a full sensor suite and WiLink 7.0, which offers Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth capabilities.