Tag Archive | "texas instruments"

Notion Ink Announces Adam 2 ICS Tablet, Partnering With Texas Instruments

A little joke for the C++ programmers in the houseThe Adam 2 has been made official by Notion Ink, the startup responsible for the original Adam tablet. According to Notion Ink, the company has partnered with Texas Instruments to incorporate TI’s OMAP 44xx platform into the upcoming tablet.

The original Adam tablet may have been a bit too ambitious for the India based company. The original used the Tegra 2 platform, and Notion Ink built a completely customized tablet interface on top of an Android 2.x build. Unfortunately for Notion Ink, Google released the tablet-specific Android build, Honeycomb, shortly thereafter. This move didn’t work in favor of Notion Ink or the original Adam; the promised ‘Genesis’ developer program for the Adam’s customized software never happened, leaving the Adam with only a small number of official applications and no access to the Android Marketplace.

This time around, it seems Notion Ink might be scaling their ambitions to a more realistic level. The Adam 2 will run Ice Cream Sandwich, though it’s not yet clear whether or not there will be officially sanctioned access to the Android Market.

Along for the ride in the dual-core OMAP 44xx platform is a PowerVR SGX 5xx GPU. With the IVA 3 multimedia accelerator the Adam 2 will have the power to encode/decode 1080p video. According to Texas Instruments, the OMAP 44xx platform has 150% performance of the previous ARM Cortex A8 core. Also supported is a camera with up to 20MP (though the Adam 2 will likely not have a camera with such a high resolution). There’s no word yet on release date or pricing for the Adam 2, and no photos have been released at this point.

That’s all fine and dandy, but it wouldn’t be Notion Ink without at least one ambitious goal that may or may not be a little too big for the company to handle, amirite? This time around, it sounds like Notion Ink wants to design a user-friendly visual programming environment… that will presumably only run on the tablet. Here’s how they explain it:

Adam II will release the world’s first Modular Based Software Architecture which will further expand the scope of application development and use nearly every single hardware feature in a “user customizable inch application. Drag and drop features will enable easy application modification and Open Source Module will further expand the use cases and tablet deployment. Node operations like in Blender, and “Application Authoring Tools inch are primarily aimed at non-programmers for composing applications, games and use-case flows in a drag-and-drop fashion, utilizing visual editors and behavior-based logic system.

Notion Ink has managed to undertake this difficult task which may prove just a bit too challenging for the company, but at least there’s a glimmer of hope that they’ll manage to make it happen. I just don’t want to see this go the way of Genesis! I hope they can accomplish what they’ve set out to do, I’d love a visual programming environment — I suck at writing code! Good luck, Notion Ink, we’ve got our eye on you!

Texas Instruments enhances OMAP 3 platform for 2010 Mobile Devices

multimediagirl While it’s very exciting to be thinking about OMAP 4 and Sparrow, they are a long, long way away from being a reality in a device. More interesting today are the Cortex A8-based products. Texas Instruments have the OMAP3 platform which includes a Cortex A8 core and you can find it in a number of leading-edge computing products like Open Pandora, the BeagleBoard and, when it launches, the Palm Pre. As these and other OMAP34xx devices reach the market, Ti will be feeding in a new range of OMAP3 platforms known as the OMAP36xx series. The platform doesn’t change much in terms of building blocks but there are important incremental improvements all round. The platforms will be available for sampling in Q3 2009 which probably means 2010 production and products.

Most important are the improvements brought by moving to a 45nm process (as the Intel Atom uses) which are said to improve efficiency by up to 25%.  An extra 30 minutes mobile browsing time here and there is never a bad thing! Key features reported on the press release are shown below.

  • 45 nm CMOS process technology delivers higher performance with lower power consumption versus the OMAP34x family, including an approximately 25% reduction in power and 75% improvement in graphics performance.
  • Robust multi-tasking platform that supports running multiple applications in parallel by simultaneously exercising the CPU, multimedia performance and 2D/3D graphics engines.
  • Dedicated 2D/3D graphics hardware accelerator, enabling more immersive user interfaces and compelling graphics for applications like realistic 3D gaming.
  • Smart pixel technology via OpenGL ES 2.0 delivers stunning imaging capabilities through advanced reflection effects and life-like facial features.
  • Supports multi-standard 720p HD functionality for HD video recording and playback.
  • Integrated image signal processor (ISP) supporting up to 12 megapixel (MP) imaging for enhanced photographic image quality and fast shot-to-shot camera performance.
  • Pre-integrated support for mobile connectivity, including TI’s current and future combo WiLinkTM Wi-Fi solutions, NaviLinkTM GPS solutions, and BlueLinkTM Bluetooth(r) solutions.

More details on the Ti product pages

Ti Announces OMAP 4 for Smartphones and MIDs in 2011 and beyond.

That’s not me adding the ‘MID’ label there, that’s exactly what Texas Instruments are saying as they announce the OMAP 4 series of platforms.

OMAP 4 is built using the next generation of ARM Cores, Cortex A9 MPCore, which allow for dual-core builds.

Helping Smartphone and Mobile Internet Device (MID) manufacturers shape the future of the mobile market with innovative devices, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the new OMAPâ„¢ 4 mobile applications platform. The OMAP 4 platform delivers new, stunning, multimedia-rich user experiences such as 1080p video record and playback, 20 megapixel (MP) imaging and approximately a week of audio play time. The new platform provides significant improvements in performance and play time compared to today’s most popular Smartphones, with 10x faster Web page loading times, more than 7x higher computing performance, 6x higher video resolution, 10x better graphics performance and 6x longer audio play time.

The last time I spoke to Ti, their definition of MIDs was slightly wider ranging than the average definition out there and included voice-enabled sliders, tablets and netbooks so you can see why they are giving it such weighting.

Putting the figures into perspective from the above excerpt, I’d say they’re talking about performance levels well above the baseline 800Mhz Silverthorne Atom from Intel. Maybe something around the 1.3Ghz Atom level that we see today. Of course that’s an educated guess. Real-world speed really depends on software and ergonomics in addition to raw power.


There’s a lot of information to digest on the press release and accompanying white papers but don’t worry too much unless you intend to use it in multi-million quantities , it’s initially aimed at large volume wireless carriers and won’t be in production until late 2010. For you, me and the rest of the potential customers out there, we’ve still got the OMAP 3 platform to look forward to. Now where’s that new Nokia Tablet?

MID. A Definition that is Hard to Ignore.

midimage When we talk about ‘Mobile Internet’ the first thing we often think about is mobile Web. We’ve heard about ‘Full Internet Experience’ and ‘Internet in your Pocket’ and seen diagram after diagram showing how a full-fat 800×480 browser is the key but the truth is that it is just a small element of what’s picking up steam in the mobile Internet device market.  In fact, the mobile Web is just one of the things enabled by mobile Internet. Its a strong focal point but it would be a complete mistake to think that that is the only thing a MID is going to be.

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Ti and the 1-watt MID

It seems we’re giving a lot of airtime to ARM-based architectures today. And why not; The evolution of the smartphone into the MID and netbook sectors is one that we should all be aware of. In this, largely promotional video from Texas Instruments, Seshu Madhavapeddy, General Manager, Mobile Internet Devices talks about the MID segment, their OMAP 3 platform (as used in the new Archos)  and mentions a 1-watt MID. That is, 1-watt at full power including connectivity and screen. Wow! My N82 smartphone with its tiny screen and highly integrated silicon takes more than double that at full internet-connected tilt so I wonder what timeframe Ti are talking about here.

For more on Ti’s MID plans and platforms, have a look at some of the resources here including a blog and a very interesting PDF that draws comparisons with Intels X86 platform. There’s also a software webinar coming up on the 26th of September. Registration might be required for some of the links.
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