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TI Unveils New OMAP 1710 Processor

Texas Instruments today unveiled its newest applications processor for cell phones and mobile devices. It was developed using TI's advanced 90 nanometer (nm) process technology, the new OMAP1710 chip offers up to 40 percent improvement in performance for a variety of mobile applications, while consuming as little as half the power of current TI processors.

TI's latest OMAP product will enable manufacturers to design sleek and secure mobile handsets with longer battery life. Cell phones that include the OMAP1710 processor will also provide the ideal mix of multimedia features and cost-effectiveness, making them more attractive to the high-volume market for multimedia smartphones.

The OMAP1710 device is software compatible with previous OMAP application processors, used in many Palm OS devices including the Tungsten T, T2 & E, Zire 71, 21 and Treo 600. The OMAP1710 processor leverages the same software environment as all OMAP chips, enabling application developers and cell phone designers to completely reuse and build upon existing software.

"We are excited that TI will be the first company to deliver application processors for cell phones that will provide our customers with the performance and power efficiency advantage made possible by advanced 90 nm technology," said Alain Mutricy, TI vice president and worldwide OMAP platform general manager.

TI OMAPUtilizing TI's advanced 90 nm process technology, the new processor increases performance by as much as 40 percent for a variety of applications to provide users with a richer mobile experience. The OMAP1710 enjoys improved performance due to higher frequency, larger data and instruction caches and an instruction set-enhanced TI DSP engine that supports multimedia applications such as still images, graphics, full-motion video and audio. TI's aggressive process technology and the re-design of critical system blocks within the processor enabled it to surpass its leadership position in power efficiency by decreasing the power consumption of the OMAP1710 device by as much as 50 percent.

The OMAP1710 processor is built on TI's industry-proven OMAP multi-engine architecture designed to handle a variety of application tasks in parallel, so a user can enjoy several features and services concurrently. This unique multi-engine approach ensures an active multimedia application will not be interrupted or degraded when a separate application, such as an operating system control task, is launched or running simultaneously.

Building on the advantages of the OMAP1610 processor, the OMAP1710 processor provides superior software flexibility, improved multimedia and graphics performance, integrated hardware and software security features, a high-performance camera interface, enhanced peripherals and ultra-low standby power consumption. The OMAP1710 processor is optimized to be paired with TI's TCS wireless chipsets for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, cdma2000 1X and UMTS.

The OMAP1710 processor engines include an ARM processor, a TI DSP engine, as well as a range of software and hardware accelerators for video encode and decode, still picture compression, Java(TM) and security. TI's unique advanced security hardware provides a secure execution environment that enables TI's customers to deliver more secure wireless devices required by mobile operators. TI's security hardware also offers an ideal platform to address the security threats faced by phone manufacturers and carriers today such as preventing the loading of unauthorized software and protecting sensitive data such as the phone's identity.

Like all of TI's current OMAP processors, the OMAP1710 is supported by the OMAP Developer Network of leading wireless software application developers and the network of independent OMAP Technology Centers providing development support services. The new OMAP1710 processor ensures easy access to open programming interfaces and tools including a comprehensive evaluation module that will allow OMAP developers and mobile device manufacturers to get a head start on hardware and software development.

The OMAP1710 processor is expected to sample in the first quarter of 2004.

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OS6 processor

awdr @ 12/12/2003 11:51:26 AM #
Thatīs it! OS6 will be powered by a great CPU!!!

RE: OS6 processor
Token User @ 12/12/2003 1:32:28 PM #
... and its optimised for Java. Hmmm.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~
RE: OS6 processor
bcombee @ 12/12/2003 1:52:54 PM #
I would guess the "optimized for Java" line means that it includes the ARM Jazelle unit which allows many Java bytecodes to be executed directly by the ARM processor, rather than having to be interpreted by software code or converted into ARM instructions using a just-in-time compiler. This is exciting, but it does require significant support by the operating system and firmware to be enabled.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site

Dural @ 12/12/2003 2:43:12 PM #
- dedicated 2D graphics engine
- TWO! MMC-SD slot support
- 289-ball, 12 mm x 12 mm MicroStar BGA Package (very small!)
- WLAN a/b/g support with external chip
- 128 MB SDRAM support!
- GPS support with external chip
- bluetooth support with external chip
(all the items needing an external chip, is provided by TI, so great support for this architecture!)

Unfortanetly:
- still only USB1 from what I can tell, as no mention of USB2 (that's a big negative!)
- maximum clock rate of 220 MHz (maybe a bit low?)
- no 3D engine

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
RhinoSteve @ 12/12/2003 3:00:29 PM #
>>Unfortanetly:
>>- still only USB1 from what I can tell, as no
>> mention of USB2 (that's a big negative!)

And why??? USB sucks up a lot of power and the USB2GO specs are not dear complete. This is definately a next revision feature when most of the market is ready for it.

>>- maximum clock rate of 220 MHz (maybe a bit low?)

Considers how well you write your software. Some of the performace complaints you are seeing is from 68K emulation. Once you have code running ARM native, that speed is more than adequate for even DSP like functions. Hence this release in the same month that Palm OS 6 is going golden.

>>- no 3D engine

**rolls eyes** I'll say it another time, there is no established market for handheld 3D. The Zodiac is a great move forward but there is no market demand for an SGI-like pipeline on a device this small. Thus, get working on your killer 3D app on a Zodiac and then the demand for a h/w 3D engine will be there.

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
hkklife @ 12/12/2003 3:00:36 PM #
I'd gladly trade the (for me,at least) useless GPS integration in favor of native USB 2 or even Firewire support. Otherwise, it looks like a heckuva lineup. I wonder if 128mb is the maximum addressable amount of ram. I wouldn't worry a bit about 3d capabilities until 2005 at the earliest. The sort of pseudo-3D games that you are going to see on a Tapwave or a fast Palm are basically glorified SNES/GBA style shooters with scaled sprites or pretty simplistic Starfax/Shattered Worlds 3D that can handled easily by the CPU.

The dual SD slots are nice but I have to wonder if any unit smaller than Zodiac will be able to implement them-if you crack open a Tungsten Tx, you'd be surprised to see how much space inside the unit and on the mobo is gobbled up by the SD card. Maybe mini-SD's not such a bad thing after all...
Go TI!

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
Dural @ 12/12/2003 3:25:36 PM #
> "USB sucks up a lot of power"

Well USB2 will mean a sync of a few seconds most of the time, so I don't see battery drain being much of a problem, considering the unit is recharging (when in cradle) when you are doing the sync.

> "there is no established market for handheld 3D."

Build it, and they will come. :)

The clock rate is not that big of a deal, considering my Tungsten E running at about half the speed with a older chip is plenty fast for me.

And of course GPS is important, as I have to know where I am.

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
a3 @ 12/12/2003 5:31:52 PM #
Dural:

Could you please post the site address were you found the aforementioned specs.

____________________________________________
Former Tapwave's Helix fan, now a T|T3 fan.

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
cbowers @ 12/12/2003 6:32:46 PM #
"I'd gladly trade the (for me,at least) useless GPS integration in favor of native USB 2 or even Firewire support."

But you'll admit that it's more marketable to a wide range of users with GPS support in, so that's a good thing.

USB2, is a moot thing. You *don't* get the full throughput of USB1 speeds even on a current palmos device, nevermind USB2. If palmos hardware and software had USB *master* support, that would be a big deal, which leads me to...

...Firewire. An interesting option to be sure, especially in the absence of USB master, or USBtogo. Shuttling files between a PDA and an iPod has some geek appeal. Snap pictures or video on your Zire and upload to iPod...

"The dual SD slots are nice but I have to wonder if any unit smaller than Zodiac will be able to implement them".

Like say a HandEra 330, or an HP iPaq 22xx series.

-if you crack open a Tungsten Tx, you'd be surprised to see how much space inside the unit and on the mobo is gobbled up by the SD card. Maybe mini-SD's not such a bad thing after all...

But most of the space is taken up in the width and length dimensions. Once that space is claimed for one slot, it doesn't take much additional space, thickness-wise to add another slot below it.

RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
Dural @ 12/12/2003 9:48:44 PM #
a3, the specs are at TI site. The URL is super long, so here goes:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?B3F023CC6
That redirect to TI's site on the OMAP 1710 Processor.
RE: Some nice freatures/specs from TI's site
LiveFaith @ 12/13/2003 1:03:50 AM #
Is this news? Maybe the dates?

I thought I read about this on TI site about 6-8 months ago. I know I remember the part about the new micro design tech and support for BT & Wifi in 1 chip.

Still good to hear ... faster/smaller/stingier!

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

Raw IR

RhinoSteve @ 12/12/2003 2:53:34 PM #
This is good but have they addressed the raw IR problem on the OMAP that is on the T1 and T2? Many Palm OS apps that depended on raw IR broke since TI implemented OBEX in microcode and you could not access the raw UART that was connected to the IR LED.

I'm sure they threw in a new process, scaled down the mask and did some layout changes for the new linewidths. However, was any changes in memory map or ports done so more of the OMAP hardware is accessable to PalmSource and, most of all, application developers?
RE: Raw IR
Dural @ 12/12/2003 9:46:40 PM #
a3, the specs are at TI site. The URL is super long, so here goes:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?B3F023CC6
That redirect to TI's site on the OMAP 1710 Processor.

Good news

grg @ 12/13/2003 1:44:10 AM #
I just can't wait until I get rid of my T3. Its CPU is the only Intel component I 've ever had. It's time for me to buy a Palm device with a better (not necessarily faster in frequency) processor - hope it is OS6 too.

RE: Good news
hkklife @ 12/13/2003 1:51:15 PM #
Would you mind elaborating on how exactly the T3's processor could be improved upon, short of somehow managed to be ultra-miserly in battery consumption?

In all faireness, I know my chief complaints with my T3 (or any other Palm) are for the various quality-control hardware problems Palm's had over the years (T3 yellow screen, SD corruption, m505 SUDS etc etc)
And we all know that there a list OS improvements everyone's wait on in OS 6 that are in no related to CPU upgrades.

All of the under-the-hood items-CPU especially, are basically just there and do their job with aplomb. Certainly the T3 is the first Palm I've ever had where I didn't find myself getting impatient or wishing a certain process was less sluggish.



RE: Good news
mikecane @ 12/13/2003 3:10:36 PM #
Go buy the Tung E. It has an OMAP CPU...

RE: Good news
mikecane @ 12/13/2003 3:10:59 PM #
... or the Zodiac ("It's Not Just A Serial Killer Anymore -- It's A Serial TIME Killer!"). It has the Moto MX1.

But, hey, guess what? They're ALL based on the ARM core! Even the Intel XScale!

RE: Good news
nitf @ 12/13/2003 5:15:46 PM #
Actually, they are based on the ARM instruction set not necessarily on the ARM core. If you are willing to spend the money and have the ability to design microprocessors (like Intel, and Motorolla) you can change anything you like inside the ARM as long as you still execute the instructions correctly.

Intel has changed the pipeline structure of their Xscale in order to bump clock speed but pay a latency penalty when they branch. Just like the P4 vs. Athlon differences in clock but maybe not performance.

So it is very possible to have two ARM compatible processors with major power and/or performance advantages over each another.

RE: Good news
mikecane @ 12/14/2003 1:39:29 PM #
Thank you for that technical clarification.

Have you any idea what Sony did with their HHE implementation of ARM?

ARM + DSP + PalmOS

kapi @ 12/15/2003 5:32:00 AM #
"The OMAP1710 enjoys improved performance due to higher frequency, larger data and instruction caches and an instruction set-enhanced TI DSP engine that supports multimedia applications such as still images, graphics, full-motion video and audio."

This is NOT the first OMAP processor used by palm,
and therefore I still do NOT beleive, the OS will
use the extra power of the DSP for anything.


RE: ARM + DSP + PalmOS
IanJD @ 12/15/2003 7:46:54 PM #
The implementation of OS5 on the TT does use the DSP, it just doesn't provide an easy way for developers to do likewise.

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