Texas Instruments thinks the latest OMAP processor from the market leader for mobile phone chips could wind up in Mobile Internet Devices, as well as its more familiar home inside smartphones.
Texas Instruments says its new OMAP cell phone chips will deliver crisper images and fewer hiccups as early as next year.
Texas Instruments on Friday launched a new application development kit. The Innovator Development Kit is for the company's OMAP (Open Multimedia Applications Protocol) technology, which includes processors and software for wireless devices such as cell phones. Developers will be able to use the kit to create applications for devices using TI chips. It will do so by offering modules such as a user-interface module, which lets developers select features for a user interface for the device they are targeting. A typical cell phone, for example, would have a smaller screen than a PDA (personal digital assistant), and so it would require a different type of user interface. TI will offer modules for adding support for communications protocols such as Bluetooth for device-to-device communications. TI says the kit, which will support Symbian, Palm, Microsoft Windows CE and Linux operating systems, will be available next quarter.
Texas Instruments has announced that it's supporting Linux as an operating system to run atop its Open Multimedia Application Platform (OMAP) designs for next-generation cell phone designs. In addition, the company has chosen RidgeRun to provide support for Linux on OMAP devices. RidgeRun sells DSPLinux, a version of Linux that includes programming tools, several packages for specific devices and simulators for some designs. OMAP includes at its core digital signal processors (DSP), chips that TI and others sell for processing video and audio information and handling many core mobile phone operations.
Twenty-six Asian manufacturers and developers specializing in wireless equipment have endorsed Intel's Personal Internet Client Architecture, which is a blueprint for building wireless handhelds and smart phones. Through the endorsement, the manufacturers are signaling that they will be capable of building devices based on the architecture. The architecture competes with a similar effort at Texas Instruments, known as OMAP. The 26 companies, which includes the Arima Group, Compal and Quanta Computer, are largely unknown outside of Asia but manufacture electronics devices for a number of U.S. and European companies. Quanta, for example, is one of the world's largest notebook manufacturers.
High Tech Computer, the makers of Compaq Computer's handheld device iPaq, will be using Texas Instruments' OMAP processors for the company's next offerings of high-speed phones. Both Texas Instruments and HTC, located in Taiwan, expect to have the first of the new products available by year's end. This is the second high-profile deal HTC has struck. It recently agreed to help build Microsoft's Stinger smart phone.
Texas Instruments plans to invest $100 million to get software developers writing wireless Internet software for OMAP, its blueprint for next-generation cell phones and gadgets.