Palm Pre Processor - TI OMAP 3430, running at 600MHz? | webOS Nation

Palm Pre Processor - TI OMAP 3430, running at 600MHz?

by Dieter Bohn Wed, 18 Feb 2009 7:54 am EST


Actually, really, truly new information on the Palm Pre is hard to find, even here at Mobile World Congress 2009.  Palm's here and showing off the GSM Pre (see our full run down), but it's running the same ROM we saw at CES, Palm's sticking to the same talking points, and they won't let folks get their mitts on them for real (hey, at least Palm is open and chatty on Twitter).  One of the bits of information we've been trying to track down: just how fast is the processor on the Pre.

We already knew that the Pre sports the Texas Instruments OMAP3430 processor and that said processor is a speed demon.  The question about how many MHz it runs at is actually sort of moot  -- the webOS is all new and whatever the number is, it won't mean the same thing that number means on other platforms.  Still, it would be nice to know, hey?

Well, I stopped by the Texas Instruments booth today (find out more at WMExperts) and it turns out I missed my chance to see Palm and TI talking jointly about the processor.  I spoke to the TI rep and he said that, no, he wasn't positive about the Pre's clock speed, but that the OMAP3430 is typically clocked around 600 MHz and he was fairly sure the Pre wasn't boosting it up beyond that, though the proc is capable of 800GHz and 1GHz if you want to push it.  (For what it's worth -- and that may not be much -- Wikipedia also pegs the OMAP3430's default clock speed at 600.)

Now, some of you (especially you Windows Mobile folks) may balk at that number, but as I said clock speed doesn't mean as much as you might think.  First of all, a lot of the heavy lifting these days is done by a graphics processor.  Secondly, although this processor is technically an ARM processor, it's the new "ARM Cortex-A8," which basically means it's a beast and it can scale its speed depending on the need to save battery life.  Thirdly, again, we have no idea whether the webOS is heavily dependent on processor speed or not.

So... there you have it.  We still don't know, but 600MHz doesn't seem like a completely crazy guess.