Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich runs on Texas Instruments OMAP4460

Posted by Charbax – October 19, 2011

The new awesome Samsung Galaxy Nexus was just unveiled in Hong Kong. It has an amazing 1280x720 4.65" HD Super AMOLED screen, LTE/HSDPA+ and runs on the new Texas Instruments OMAP4460 1.2Ghz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. This is what TI's Vice President of OMAP platform business unit Remi El-Ouazzane has to say about this:

Today is a great day for our collaboration with Google…The long-awaited Android 4.0 release is finally being revealed with the OMAP4460 processor powering the absolutely gorgeous Samsung Galaxy Nexus device. I am so excited about this launch. What I may be the most excited by is not only the ability to converge to one Android release for both smartphones and tablets, but to be able to pack that level of performance across graphics or video on an HD screen and within the power envelope of a smartphone device…This is where our OMAP smart multicore architecture makes a huge difference. At the end of the day, brute force (number of cores, for instance) does not rival sophistication.

and a further statement from TI:

Today, TI proudly revealed a major OMAP platform milestone: yes, the highly-anticipated Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” release runs on the OMAP4460 processor. This advancement is an exceptional demonstration of what OMAP processors uniquely do, and what separates them from competitors in the mobile processing world: the ability to provide hardware-integrated security, distinctive and advanced imaging features, enhanced memory and more, all on a smart multicore architecture.

Here are some of my impressions and expectations for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich:

- This means Samsung can maybe "easily" update processor speed to 1.5Ghz and maybe also later to the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz when those faster OMAP4 processors become available.

- I don't know how fast Samsung can manufacture these screens and how much it costs them, my guess is this screen is the most expensive Super AMOLED yet, and I guess that Super AMOLED is already quite a bit more expensive than LCD and I wonder if Samsung is able to manufacture enough of these screens to not create major shortages for the availability of this Galaxy Nexus worldwide for the months to come. If there is one phone worth queuing up for if you want to be sure to get one in the first weeks/months at release, this may be it.

- They haven't yet shown what happens when you connect to HDTV output, I wonder if the "pins" on the side provide HDMI and data output/input or/and if an MHL connector takes care of this like on the Samsung Galaxy S2. I expect the full Motorola Atrix type Laptop Dock, Desktop Dock, Multimedia Dock, all those features are likely part of Android 4.0, which is why I think Ice Cream Sandwich means the merger of Android with Chrome OS and Google TV.

- Samsung Galaxy Nexus is likely going to be expensive. This is not news though for high-end smartphones, those are all ridiculously expensive today. But that's just how things are, and they are able to sell tens of millions at those expensive prices. Consider that you are paying $2000 to $3000 for this phone with a 2 year contract. Considering the possibility that Samsung may not be able to manufacture enough of those 720p HD Super AMOLED screens, they may even purposefully increase the price even further at launch.