TI's OMAP3 cellphone processor plays 720p HD video

Barcelona (Spain) - Texas Instruments (TI) has added three new processors to its handheld application processor lineup. On the high-end, the company now offers a platform that decodes high-definition video, supports 12 megapixel digital cameras and can play Shader Model 3-based video games.

Hardware designers are quickly reacting to the rapidly evolving application market in the handheld space. One of the major player in this area, Texas Instruments, today showed a new high-end platform with a performance capability that, in some areas, exceeds the performance capability of most many portable computers on the market today.

Based on the ARM Cortex-A8 RISC Core, TI's new 65 nm OMAP 3430 platform provides about three times the performance of the preceding OMAP2 family, according to the manufacturer. It is one of the first chips to enable HD video playback with resolutions of 720p (1280x720 pixels), while display resolutions are supported up to XGA (1024x768). The chip also enables the integration of digital cameras that take 12 megapixels and record videos in DVD resolution (720x480 pixels).

Another unique feature of the OMAP3430 is the integration of Imagination Technology's PowerVR SGX graphics technology. According to the developer, it is the first chip to integrate the OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic standard; it also supports Shader Model 3.0, a common shader language that is used by most 3D games for the PC today.

Aside from the high-end processor, TI also introduced the models 3420 and 3410 as scaled down versions of the 3430. For example, HD playback and DVD-quality video recording are not supported by these processors. TI said that the OMAP3430 processor has entered its sampling phase with the first handsets using the platform expected to be available in early 2008. The OMAP3410 and OMAP3420 processors will sample by the end of 2007, TI said.