Model OMAP1510, which was the first OMAP processor from Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI; Dallas, TX), has evolved into somewhat of a standard for intermediate-generation (2.5G) and third-generation (3G) wireless applications. By extending that technology, the company is now offering a dual-core embedded processor to developers who need extensive programming capabilities for next-generation applications. In a single device, the OMAP5910 combines the real-time processing capabilities and low power consumption of TI's TMS320C55x digital-signal-processing (DSP) core with the flexibility and scalability of a TI-enhanced advanced RISC machine (ARM) microprocessor. An optimized interprocessor communication mechanism makes it easy to use.

For emerging applications such as digital media, biometrics, location-based services, enhanced gaming, and telematics, developers need programming options. By combining with TI's software-development support and developer network, the OMAP5910 promises to help designers create applications with high performance in less time. It also enables embedded developers to program using familiar development environments (see figure). The processor supports leading operating systems, such as VxWorks, Nucleus PLUS, Windows CE.net, and Linux. To save programming time and complexity, the built-in interprocessor communication mechanism eliminates the need for developers to program the reduced-instruction-set computer (RISC) and DSP independently.

The processor also optimizes the performance of the real-time, processing-intensive tasks and control functions. TI combines an ARM RISC processor that is suited to orchestrating command and control with a DSP that is suitable for computation-intensive signal-processing tasks. Specific tasks are thus completed by the most appropriate device.

The single-chip OMAP5910 also is notable for its system-on-a-chip (SoC) functionality. Its peripherals include 192 KB of random-access memory (RAM), a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 1.1 Host and Client, a MMC/SD card interface, multichannel buffered serial ports, a real-time clock, and general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs) and universal asynchronous receiver transmitters (UARTs).

The OMAP5910 is sampling now. Production devices are scheduled to be available in the first quarter of next year. P&A: $32.00 (10,000 qty.). Texas Instruments, Inc., 12500 TI Blvd., Dallas, TX 75243-4136; (800) 336-5236, www.ti.com.