TI announces partnership to take OMAP into robotics

March 13, 2012 // By Peter Clarke
Texas Instruments Inc., (Dallas, Texas) has announced a partnership with iRobot Corp., to develop robotics technology based on the TI's OMAP application processors.

Founded in 1990, iRobot is best known for the development of the Roomba autonomous home vacuum cleaner. To date, iRobot has sold more than 7.5 million home robots worldwide. The company has also delivered more than 4,500 government and industrial robots for military and civil defense applications. These robots have performed thousands of search, reconnaissance and bomb-disposal missions.

The OMAP range of multicore processors, originally developed as application processors for mobile phones, are generally based on an ARM architecture processor core plus one or more specialized processors to support multimedia and wireless communications.

The latest generation of OMAP, the fifth, uses a dual-core Cortex-A15 processor licensed from ARM Holdings plc and PowerVR SGX544 dual-core graphics licensed from Imagination Technologies Group plc. Two ICs have been defined so far. The OMAP5430 is targeted for products that demand the smallest size supporting dual-channel, LPDDR2 Package-on-Package (PoP) memory. The OMAP5432 is targeted for mobile computing and consumer products that are more cost-sensitive, without the extreme size constraint and supporting dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L memory. Both of these devices use a TI-defined, low-power 28 nanometer fabrication process.

TI did not indicate whether partnership with iRobot would be based on OMAP 5 or earlier ICs or would involve the development of future OMAP chips. Nor did TI state how soon robots based on OMAP would be deployed.