DALLAS, USA: With 2009 recognized as a watershed year in the evolution of the eBook market, manufacturers and developers are racing to meet consumer demands in this emerging segment. Answering the call for differentiated devices, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has unveiled an OMAP 3 processor-based eBook development platform to help manufacturers and developers rapidly deploy their endless ideas to launch new, innovative eBook readers into consumers' hands.
Touting a sleek electrophoretic display, TI's comprehensive platform includes the new OMAP3621 applications processor, WiLink 6.0 WiFi/Bluetooth/FM "combo" connectivity solution, the new TPS6518x electronic paper display (EPD) power management IC, along with other TI analog solutions, and 3G modem connectivity support.
Driving new eBook experiences with TI's OMAP processor technology
The eBook development platform leverages TI's proven high-performance, low-power, 45nm OMAP 3 processor family which provides a robust, multitasking environment to simultaneously support applications which exercise the CPU, multimedia and graphics engines.
The OMAP3621 processor will allow users to read their favorite eBook on an electrophoretic display, while simultaneously scanning the web on a second display for their next purchase. The processor boasts a high performance ARM Cortex-A8 CPU integrated with Imagination POWERVR3D graphics acceleration, and TI's proven C64x+DSP technology for multimedia acceleration.
The OMAP3621 processor delivers an optimized peripheral set in a 12mmx12mm, 0.5mm ball pitch package with low power DDR memory support. The solution's smaller footprint enables sleek consumer designs while also delivering power and performance metrics that will change how consumers use eBooks in the future. The processor also provides added flexibility with its programmable architecture design.
Leveraging the programmability of the OMAP platform enables customers to further differentiate their devices and stand out in the marketplace, giving their devices a unique look and feel.
Unique software-based display controller reduces footprint and cost
TI has employed a DSP-based software display controller, which drives E Ink's Vizplex® electrophoretic display on the eBook development platform to further streamline eBook product development. By implementing the display controller on the DSP, the Cortex-A8 can be used to its full potential, delivering an outstanding user experience.
This software controller approach reduces the total silicon footprint by more than 200mm2 as well as provides savings on overall hardware cost. TI's overall system solution eliminates the need for:
* Typical hardware EPD controller;
* Dedicated external flash memory to store waveforms;
* Dedicated SDRAM memory for the frame buffer; and
* External temperature sensor by embedding it into TI's TPS6518x display power management IC.
Optimized power management extends usability of eBook platform
TI's highly-optimized solutions are designed to fully address the needs of power-sensitive consumer device markets -- from eBooks to smartphones -- where battery life is just as critical as high performance.
For example, TI's eBook development platform will allow more than 14,800 page turns on a six-inch E Ink screen using a slim 600mAh battery, representing a 50 percent improvement over similar solutions in the market today. With this in mind, consumers could read a 500-page book approximately 20 times on a single battery charge.
Additionally, TI has optimized its connectivity solutions to run in a power conscious environment. The WiLink 6.0 solution uses an innovative low-power scanning architecture that continuously scans for available WLAN access points without impacting battery life. TI's system-level power optimization also extends idle times, allowing an eBook device to last nearly four weeks without needing to recharge.
"We are excited about the potential of the eBook market and how TI's technologies simplify eBook product design and enhance the overall user experience," said Elie Belmand, General Manager of TI's mobile consumer business.
"Today, we are working with more than ten leading eBook OEM and ODMs to bring compelling, new eBook devices to store shelves in 2010. Our eBook platform provides a comprehensive and solid foundation to allow these manufacturers to shorten their product development cycle times while delivering innovative devices that will 'wow' consumers and help propel the eBook market forward."