TI shows off Android and eyes ultra-portables

TI shows off Android and eyes ultra-portables

Engineers sayd ARM-based OMAP platform could provide ample power for Linux-based platform with high-def video

Emerging truly portable computers present a tremendous opportunity for non-Intel processors, acording to Texas Instruments executives at Mobile World Congress.

“It´s a beautiful opportunity,” senior vice president Greg Delagi said a reception showing off some of TI´s latest technology in Barcelona.

It included a Google phone based on the much anticipated Android platform, a microprojector capable of being incorporated into a mobile, and a concept mobile using TI´s OMAP3440 platform with an ARM Cortex A8-based core.

TI engineers claimed this was powerful enough to run a Linux-based mobile and the OpenOffice.Org applications suite. But they point out that the 3440 also includes a graphics processor capable of rendering high-definition video at 720p resolution.

Interest in the true portables has been increased by the recently released solid-state ₤200 Asus Eee PC with an open-source software suite.

The ARM CPU design in the OMAP platform is single core though ARM has recently announced a design that can scale to quad core. But the TI engineers said multi-core would be too power hungry.

Multi-core processors were introduced to PCs to reduce power drain and clock frequency while pushing up performance. But on mobiles, at least on the current generation, the emphasis is one providing a useful performance on very low power drain.

Intel has the same approach. It was showing four concept designs – two of the working – using the yet-to-be-launched Menlow platform which is said to have a tenth the power drain of 2006-generation notebook processors while delivering much the same performance.

Check out our Test Bed blog later for pictures and more details.