TI (Texas Instruments) has just announced their latest creation, the OMAP4440. Expected to start sampling during the first quarter of 2011, and begin mass production during the second half of the same year, the OMAP4440 has enough differences compared to the older OMAP4430, due to be in products shipping during the first half of 2011, that we need to wipe the drool off our faces. First off is the application processor: two ARM Cortex A9 processors clocked at an astounding 1.5 GHz. That’s a 50% improvement in clock speed compared to the OMAP4430. Then there’s the GPU, again it’s the same PowerVR SGX 540 as found in the OMAP4430, but clocked 25% higher. Features that are exclusive to the OMAP4440 include: HDMI 1.4 out, meaning it has support for 1080p content that’s 3D, and support for dual 12 megapixel cameras as to enable 3D photo capture, but nothing was mentioned about video. Both the OMAP4440 and OMAP4430 are made using a 45 nanometer process and they’re pin compatible so a handset or tablet maker could simply swap chips if they wanted to.
What worries me about this chip is the PowerVR SGX 540. Did you know that it’s the same GPU inside Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and Apple’s A4 chip that goes both inside the iPad and iPhone? Why would TI purposefully stick an “old” GPU in there? It’s still fast, no one is saying it’s slow, but Qualcomm is due to ship Snapdragon processors next year that feature their Adreno 220 which they’re claiming to be as powerful as the graphics processors inside the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. Of course we’ll have to perform our own benchmarks before we call those claims unsustainable, but that is quite an accomplishment if they manage to achieve such a goal.
If you need any reason to convince yourself to not buy the Samsung Nexus S, dual core chips should be enough to keep your wallet shut.