Analyst: TI to Sample Chip With New Arm CPU Next Year

Texas Instruments could implement Arm's latest Cortex-A15 processor design in a chip that could be built and sampled as early as next year, an analyst said on Thursday.

TI is a lead customer for Cortex-A15 and could use the processor design in the upcoming OMAP5 chip, which could ship as test samples next year, wrote Joseph Byrne, a senior analyst at The Linley Group, in a research note sent late Thursday.

Arm designs low-power processors for devices like smartphones and tablets, and licenses the designs to chip makers like TI. Arm on Wednesday announced Cortex-A15, which the chip designer says offers five times the performance over Cortex-A8 processors. The Cortex-A15 can run at speeds of up to 2.5GHz and can stretch to 16 cores in certain chip configurations. Arm said it hopes to put the chips in devices ranging from smartphones to servers.

TI spokeswoman Heather Ailara said future versions of the OMAP platform are under development, but the company cannot disclose whether Cortex-A15 is part of any design.

Nevertheless, TI is excited about the possibilities offered by the Cortex-A15 when combined with OMAP technology, Ailara said.

The company is anticipating potential battery power savings as high as 60 percent in certain usage scenarios. TI is also expecting to double or triple performance with the power savings.

Ailara said the company will provide further details about the new OMAP platform in the coming months. The company will also announce its plans around Cortex-A15 in the coming months.

TI is getting ready to ship its latest dual-core chip for smartphones and tablets, the OMAP4430, which is based on Arm's latest Cortex-A9 design. The OMAP4430 will bring features like 1080p high-definition video to mobile devices. It will operate at a clock speed of up to 1GHz and draw up to 50 percent less power than its predecessors.

Motorola's Droid X smartphone uses the Cortex OMAP3630 chip, which is based on Arm's older Cortex-A8 design.

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