In January, Texas Instruments’ Vice President said his company’s upcoming dual-core OMAP 5 application processor for smartphones, tablets and e-readers would be “way ahead of Apple.” Today, we saw a glimpse that proved a dual-core OMAP 5 is capable of outclassing a typical quad-core processor.

For the sake of better understanding, the current-generation OMAP 4 chip inside Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone is based on a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with 1GB RAM and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The closest kin to the upcoming OMAP 5 chip, however, is Nvidia’s much-hyped Tegra 3 processor. You could argue that the OMAP 5 vs. Tegra 3 comparison is not entirely fair. As much as the OMAP 5 platform is “only” dual-core, it sports ARM’s newer and much improved Cortex-A15 CPU design. Moreover, while Tegra 3 features four processing cores and an additional specialized core, Nvidia’s chip is based on the older-generation Cortex-A9 CPU design.

In addition, even though the OMAP 4 clocks at just 800MHz versus Tegra 3’s 1.4GHz, the former packs in specialized cores and accelerators that help improve performance a great deal. The crux: A dual-core OMAP 5 (left) handily beats a quad-core device (right) in page rendering—all the while downloading videos and playing music. It is just another example of how silicon blueprints from United Kingdom-based fables semiconductor maker ARM Holdings dominate the mobile industry.

About the Author