Gee Whizzers, Batman! this is a freakin' CELLPHONE processor?

Frank Gentges fgentges at
Sat Aug 30 23:49:59 CDT 2008


Wholly Crap, this thing is way overkill for a simple SDR.  It is more 
like an SDR (xmit and receive) plus an entire terminal function with 3D 
video cameras, 3D displays, mikes, USB ad nausium/ad vomitus.  And all 
on one little chip.

You will need a large staff of computer engineers to sort out your new 
product and all the embedded processors.  The Silicon Errata shows how 
these very complex multiprocessor chips will not interact in as friendly 
a way as the preliminary data sheet might imply.  If you are working 
with this fine chip you will really really want this Silicon Errata as 
well as building your own library of otherwise undocumented things that 
don't work quite as you might expect.  Think of the man-hours you will 
invest just in staff meetings devoted to discovering how the different 
parts really interact.

This fine chip is only available in ball grid array packages.  There is 
no wire wrapping a prototype with this puppy. Neither can you just sweat 
solder down a few rows of gull wing lead either. If you thought surface 
mount took special stuff and skills, the ball grid array takes assembly 
equipment and skills to a whole new level of frustration.  A high 
resolution Xray viewer will find those errant solder balls as well as 
missing solder balls hidden underneath the chip that are keeping it all 
from working.

If I send TI a check for $58 I will get back not only one, but if I act 
now, 10, no, no but wait, if I act really quick, 100 of these fine 
chips.  Operators are standing by.  Wow! You can get a monster sized 
headache for only 58 cents apiece.  I suspect the development kit is way 
beyond the 58 cent chip price.  That developement board/kit could be a 
hoot if I could only figure it all out.

I am almost tempted to send off a check so I can pass out these chips at 
tacos to challenge everyone to build a multifunction radio.  I wonder if 
they take PayPal?

Now back to my old SDR-IQ and my Hallicrafters SX-16.

Frank K0BRA

Michael O'Dell wrote:
> the new TI OMAP 3530
> for $58 quantity 100 you get
> an Arm Cortex-A8 superscalar ARM with MMU, SIMD, and Jazelle
> running at 600MHz and addressing a gigabyte of SDRAM
> and lots of support for NAND and NOR flash and mem cards
> an "image and video processor block" containing one C64x+ VLIW DSP
> for video compression and decompression
> another free-standing C64x+ VLIW DSP for doing baseband processing
> (this puppy is a rip-snorter, too, with 8 functional units -
> six serious ALU blocks and two multipliers)
> a 3D graphics processor good for 10 million polygons/sec
> with both edge and vertex shaders - this version can generate 720p video
> two LCD panel interfaces
> USB 2.0 host and client
> and enough assorted high-function glue logic to nail on
> almost anything you can imagine
> sooooooo - wow. I guess this is the Android springhead, huh.
> seems like an interesting choice for an SDR project.
> 	-mo
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