PandaBoard OMAP4 ARM Cortex-A9 development board released for $174

Posted by Charbax – October 21, 2010

If you are an ARM Powered mobile computing app developer, if you want to prepare OS and apps for TI's upcoming ARM Cortex-A9 platform, shipping from around the end of November, you can pre-order the PandaBoard now for $174 at http://pandaboard.org.

OMAP4430 Processor (Highlights)

Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) at 1Ghz each. Allows for 150% performance increase over previous ARM Cortex-A8 cores.
Full HD (1080p) multi-standard video encode/decode
Imagination Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics core supporting all major API's including OpenGL® ES v2.0, OpenGL ES v1.1, OpenVG v1.1 and EGL v1.3 and delivering 2x sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core
Low power audio (upto 140+ hr CD-quality audio playback)

ARM Cortex-A9 as in this OMAP4 may be the ARM Processor generation that we have been waiting for to realize full ARM Powered desktop performance in devices such as for Laptops, Desktops, set-top-boxes for HDTVs and other high resolution full desktop user experiences. So this new processor is not only about speeding up Smart Phones, it's also to start supporting higher resolution larger screen devices and provide ARM Powered full computing as credible challenger to x86. The OMAPvideo YouTube channel is releasing some videos to demonstrate PandaBoard's setup and performance, here is a video of Ubuntu 10.10 booting on this development board:

At mobile world congress, a TI spokesperson told me after I filmed my OMAP4 demonstrations video, that real-time video encode on OMAP4 is within 2% of x86 based multi-pass encoding. I wonder if that is really true, or if he meant within 2% only for real-time encoding.

Hopefully 1080p playback on OMAP4 is impeccable, so 1080p high profile at very high bitrates h264 and mkv works fine so Boxee type people can't complain like they complained on video playback performance on Tegra 2 so it isn't mysteriously replaced with Intel CE4100.

Source: pandaboard.org and OMAPvideo on YouTube
Found via: blogarm.net