I’m jumping for joy right now! Read the press release first and then I’ll discuss why:
Symbian Ltd. today announced that Symbian OSâ„¢, the market-leading open operating system for smartphones, is the first mobile OS to support the new ARMÂ® Cortexâ„¢-A8 processor currently running on Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) OMAP3430 application processor. The technology enables significantly higher Symbian smartphone performance whilst maintaining greater power efficiency and lowering development costs for handset manufacturers.
Symbian OS is also the first mobile OS to be fully scalable across all ARM processor architectures from the ARM Cortex-A8 processor, through mainstream ARM11â„¢ family of processors, to cost-effective ARM9â„¢ family of processors. The ARM Cortex-A8 processor, which is based on ARM v7 architecture, is the highest performance most power-efficient applications processor developed by ARM to date and is designed to enrich mobile phones with applications that formerly required the consumption levels of a PC.
The TI OMAP 3430 is a beast. It’s utter madness. Look what it can do:
The increased capabilities of the IVA2+ enables multi-standard (MPEG4, H264, Windows Media Video, RealVideo etc.) encode and decode at DVD resolutions (720×480 pixels).
The OMAP3430 processor embeds Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX graphics core, making it the first applications processor to support OpenGL ESÂ® 2.0 and OpenVGâ„¢, providing superior graphics performance and advanced user interface capabilities.
The OMAP3430 can connect to images sensors up to 12 mega pixels in size with minimal shot-to-shot delay, enabling camera phones that are equivalent to or better than most digital still cameras on the market today. Additional features in the OMAP3430 like On-the-fly JPEG compression and connectivity support for both serial and parrallel cameras aid in throughput and storage as well as add design flexibility.
The industry’s first application processor to be designed in a 65-nanometer (nm) CMOS process, the OMAP3430 operates at a higher frequency than previous generation OMAP processors while lowering the core voltage and adding power reduction features.
High Speed USB2.0 On-The-Go support
Seamless connectivity to Hard Disk Drive (HDD) devices for mass storage
Usually it takes Nokia a year to build a version of S60 on top of the latest Symbian OS. A 3430 powered device should be out on the market by the summer (probably 2H) of next year. Worst case scenario would be 3GSM 2009.
For the more technically inclined or if you’re just curious, I highly recommend you download the 2 page PDF product sheet for Symbian 9.5.
Update: Just how fast is this processor? "With the ability to scale in speed from 600MHz to greater than 1GHz, the Cortex-A8 processor can meet the requirements for power-optimized mobile devices needing operation in less than 300mW; and performance-optimized consumer applications requiring 2000 Dhrystone MIPS." – ARM