Monday, August 16, 2010

TI's 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 DaVinci chip to replace OMAP3

DM37x combines 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 and 800MHz C64x+ DSP for 720p HD video
Hardware offers 50% boost in ARM performance, 40% in DSP, double the graphics performance with 40% less power consumption over OMAP3530 device
By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk
TI is targetting its own OMAP3 processors with a new Da Vinci video processor family, the DM 37x. The DM3730 and DM3725 with their ARM Cortex-A8 and C64x+™ DSP core, imaging and video accelerator (IVA), PowerVR 3D graphics processor in the DM3730 and high-performance peripherals (USB 2.0, SD/MMC) integrated on a single system-on-chip (SoC), are suitable for applications requiring HD video processing or a large amount of data processing. These applications include navigation systems, media players, medical patient monitoring devices, industrial test and measurement devices, industrial vision and portable communications.
The DM37x processors are software compatible with the OMAP35x generation of processors and pin-to-pin compatible with the low end Sitara AM37x devices allowing for an easy product migration strategy to higher performing options. Customers moving to the DM3730 from the OMAP3530 can look forward to a 50 percent increase in ARM performance, a 40 percent increase in DSP performance, double the graphics performance and uses approximately 40 percent less power.
The 800MHz C64x+ DSP and hardware video accelerator enable audio and HD 720p video decoding and encoding (audio and video codecs included) independent of the ARM processor. This allows additional expansion on the ARM processor to run more high-level applications and a rich, responsive 2D or 3D graphical user interface, for applications such as an industrial personal digital assistant (PDA).
The DSP engine is programmable, allowing multiple general signal processing tasks such as digital filtering, math functions and image processing and analysis. For example, in a camera-enabled industrial application, the DSP can run an edge-detection algorithm on the video coming from a camera to detect the presence or absence of people or objects.
Key features and benefits:
  • DM3730 and DM3725 are pin-compatible and software compatible with each other, as well as with Sitara AM3715 and AM3703 processors. Each device can be configured to operate at multiple operating points enabling low power or high performance modes.
  • Up to 800MHz TMS320C64x+ DSP with 720p 30 frames per second (fps) HD video encoding and decoding
  • Allows intensive signal analysis and processing and seamless HD video decoding for multi-mediaapplications
  • DM3730 has a PowerVR 200MHz graphics accelerator, supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and renders 20 million polygons per second, coupled with the advanced display subsystem
  • Enables developers to create a user interface enabling stunning 3D graphics navigation with life-like effects
  • 20 percent increase in LPDDR controller performance and 100 percent increase in L1 cache compared to OMAP3530 (increased memory bandwidth)
  • Provides increased multi processor performance and reduces latency
Software and support
Helping make development easier, customers can start developing their designs today with the TMDXEVM3730 EVM, which includes a TI Bluetooth WiFi module. The SDK includes Linux kernel 2.6.32 board support package complete with graphical user interface, graphics, applications, demonstrations and development utilities. The SDK also offers a royalty-free library of DSP-optimized signal processing algorithms accessible from the ARM processor through a set of easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs). The DSP library contains more than 80 algorithms, including multi-media decoders and encoders, math functions, digital filtering including Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), and image processing including image filtering and analysis.
Support for the Linux and Android operating systems is available today. Windows CE™ support will be available in 4Q10.
Pricing and availability:
Customers can begin designing by downloading the DM3730 software for use on the DM3730 evaluation module, TMDXEVM3730, available for $1,495 USD from TI. Customers may also develop on the BeagleBoard-xM, a low-cost, open-source community board equipped with the DM3730 available for $179 from Digi-Key. The DM3730 will be available for purchase starting at $25.60 in 1,000 unit quantities (1ku) at http://www.ti.com/dm3730-prpf.

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