The SoC - OMAP3 3430

Before we dive into the phones, let's take a look at the SoC at the core of both. We talked about the OMAP 3430 back in 2009 (well maybe not way back, but it sure feels like it) in the context of the Palm Pre, which uses the OMAP 3430. It turns out that Texas Instruments' OMAP 3430 SoC is quite popular if not a microcosm of the generation of smartphones we're talking about; it's common to the N900, Motorola Droid, and Palm Pre.

OMAP 3430 Block Diagram

The Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 is designed for a 65nm manufacturing process, in fact, all of the OMAP34x series are designed for 65-nm process, whereas OMAP36 is intended for 45-nm processes. OMAP 3430 supports up to 12 megapixel cameras on its onboard image-signal processor, and packs an onboard IVA 2+ image, video and audio DSP accelerator clocked at 430 MHz, and a PowerVR SGX 530 GPU. Those clocks are recommended by TI, but in practice handset OEMs set them through a dialog with carriers to meet appropriate performance and battery life targets. OMAP3430's IVA 2+ supports MPEG-4 and H.264 encode/decode of 30 fps video at 720x480, and WMV9 decode at the same resolution and framerate. OMAP3430 can drive displays up to WXGA (1280x800) resolution at 24-bits. Note that the OMAP3 series SoCs don't pack internal cellular modems, meaning OEMs shop around for their own and connect over internal USB or multi channel buffered serial (McBSP).

At the heart of the OMAP 3430 SoC is the 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU. Remember that Cortex-A8 is an ARMv7 design with a 13 stage pipeline, compared to the 8 stage ARM11 (ARMv6) design common to OMAP2 and the CPU in the iPhone 3G. In practice, the performance delta between ARMv6 (ARM11) and ARMv7 (Cortex-A8) is between 2x and 3x.


Birds of a feather: N900 and Motorola Droid Physical Comparison and OMAP 3430 Continued


View All Comments

  • Zebo - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    with 750mhz processor convex keys and ditching the lame D pad making this the best smart phone for my use talking 5-6 hours a day plus on best network instead of T or TM.

  • krazyfrog - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Dude, you chat like an eight year-old lol. Reply
  • CityBlue - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    The latest Maemo5 PR1.2 does bring a welcome improvement to battery life, in some cases as much as 50% improvement to standby time.

    The recently released Opera Mobile on the N900 is lightning fast - it would be interesting to see how that performs in your comparison tests, or the latest Fennec (Firefox Mobile 1.1). The stock MicroB browser is beginning to look a little long in the tooth what with all the Javascript run-time improvements in competing browsers, but it does still offer the most complete web experience on pretty much any mobile device.

    Overall though, a very good and welcome review of Maemo5 which is much misunderstood by a world obsessed with Android and iPhone.
  • achipa - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Two small corrections:
    Nokia's next MeeGo device is still going to be ARM (MeeGo is a two-platform OS, ARM and Atom), if there is a Moorestown device far along in the pipelines, it's not Nokia's.
    PR1.2 is very likely not the last update. Nokia has pledged to deliver QtMobility (the mobile device Qt APIs) in a future update, and there is an active Qt4.7 branch for Maemo5 which also suggests work is being done there.
  • The Solutor - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Not all the Droid/Milestone's keyboard are flat.

    This is my milestone (bought in december).

    So there's no need to wait droid 2 to get the raised keys.
  • Brian Klug - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Interesting... looks like they definitely identified that issue somewhere between finishing the CDMA 'Droid' design and the GSM Milestone. Cool stuff!

  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    I read that elsewhere as well. Would be nice if the verizon stores got the newer keyboard models out on display to try Reply
  • BoyBawang - Sunday, June 13, 2010 - link

    Sorry to break your heart dude but the ones with raised keyboard were the early builds. Motorola changed it to flat after reported sliding problems with the raised design Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, June 14, 2010 - link

    Actually one of my friends got a Moto Droid Thursday and I had a chance to play with it Friday, it did feel like they had improved the key feel slightly. IIRC the Droids on display had concave keys, this one was slightly convex. Reply
  • solipsism - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    I understand that's because they are in the same package is the reason why you need the BT to be on to get FM, but that can't be too common. After all, most smartphones seem to have WiFi and BT(+EDR) and FM all the same transceiver.

    For comparison, the iPhone 3GS uses a <a href=" BCM4325</ a>

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