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TI exec discusses Omap future

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile apps? applications processor? Omap?

Texas Instruments Inc. sees tomorrow's mobile applications processor not only capable of rendering holographic displays, natural speech interaction, real-time voice translation, high-definition augmented reality, and multiview synthesis. The company believes mobile applications processors will also be able to handle neuro, fuzzy-based and even humanistic intelligence.

Talking about the capabilities its Omap 4 processor has today and those working their way down the pipeline as Omap 5 approaches sampling readiness in 2012, TI's Avner Goren, director of strategic marketing for wireless terminals, outlined use case scenarios including smell sensors, environment sensors and multimode gesture sensors.

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Goren: The R&D investment in Omap is significant, but tailoring and repackaging it for, say, use in cars or tablets is an incremental effort

TI, which has its humble consumer roots in calculators, now sees a place for itself in a wide number of consumer electronic markets, including smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, car infotainment systems, low-powered computers, virtualized, terminals, portable terminals and even robotics.

"Many different industry segments are starting to pick Android as an operating system because it comes with an entire ecosystem of its own," Goren explained, adding that TI is becoming increasingly adept at building additional software elements on top of its hardware to tailor Omap for different electronics segments.

"The R&D investment in Omap is significant, but tailoring and repackaging it for, say, use in cars or tablets is an incremental effort," he said.

Indeed, with software engineering becoming ever more significant in the hardware space, TI claims to have upped the ante on its competitors, working quickly to make Omap the platform of choice for major players like Google and Microsoft.

Omap 4 was recently singled out by Google as the flagship chip to run its upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) operating system, while Microsoft named TI as one of the main ARM-based platforms set to run next generation Windows (Windows 8) on.

In terms of devices, TI can also cite a reel of impressive design wins for Omap, including the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor (running on the Omap3621), the RIM PlayBook tablet (running Omap4430 and WiLink 7.0), the ultra-thin Toshiba "Excite" AT200 (Omap4430), the revamped Motorola Droid RAZR (Omap4430 and WiLink 7.0) and the much-hyped Samsung Galaxy Nexus (running on Omap4460).

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