TI Preps Power-Saving Phone Chips

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Texas Instruments plans to release samples of its latest OMAP chip, which will be the company's first 90-nanometer chip, in the first quarter of 2004.

The OMAP 1710 will run 10 percent faster than its OMAP 1610 predecessor and consume 50 percent less power, taking advantage of the drop in power consumption afforded by a process technology jump, TI says. The OMAP product line is designed for cell phones and other mobile devices. Nokia's cell phones use TI's OMAP chips, as well as PalmOne's Treo 600 smart phone.

TI increased the clock speed on the OMAP 1710 to 220 MHz, up 10 percent from the 200-MHz clock speed of the 1610, and doubled the cache. The new chip will outperform the 1610 by about 40 percent, TI says.

On the Inside

The chip comes with an applications processor core designed by Arm, and a digital signal processor core to handle communications. TI's customers can pair the OMAP 1710 with wireless chip sets that support GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Services), EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), CDMA2000 1X (Code Division Multiple Access), or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Services) networks.

Phone designers can run several different operating systems on the new chip, including Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003, Linux, PalmSource's PalmOS, and the Symbian operating system.

The OMAP 1710 will be ready to ship by the middle of 2004, a TI spokesperson says.

Intel is expected to release its first 90 nanometer chip in early 2004, and other chip companies plan to roll out chips based on the technology over the year, including Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.

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