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Texas Instruments May Sell OMAP Division

By - Source: Semi-Accurate | B 12 comments

There's a rumor that Texas Instruments is looking to sell its OMAP division while it's still one of the key players in the mobile sector.

SemiAccurate reports that Texas Instruments is currently trying to sell off its high-end ARM-based OMAP (Open Multimedia Application Platform) division.

So far the company hasn't announced anything official, but the reason behind the possible sale is merely to get out while it's still riding high as one of the few key players in the mobile sector, potentially raking in some serious cash. Although still slated as rumor, the possible sale will likely happen once its OMAP 5 SoC is out the door, one of the first SoCs based on ARM's A15 design and reportedly "semi-officially" endorsed for Google's next generation of gadgets.

According to the report, various companies are big players in the possible purchase including Intel, AMD, ATIC, Nvidia, and "a long list of other interested parties." Intel is obviously the unlikely candidate given that it's producing its own x86-based SoC for the mobile sector. AMD likely doesn't want OMAP technology either, but SemiAccurate seems to suggest that ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Company) would be a prime candidate.

Why ATIC? One suggestion is that ATIC would provide its new OMAP division not only with cutting edge processing technology, but a huge financial backing. Global Foundries could even license OMAP-based IP to external parties like Nvidia and other licensees. And as SemiAcurate points out, ATIC buying OMAP "has a lot of synergies, and would only tangentially involve AMD too."

But as previously stated, this is all merely rumor – Texas Instruments hasn't said anything official at this point. SemiAccurate, despite its name, feels confident that the news isn't mere rumor, but that the sale process is well under way. That said, would this be an ideal time for Texas Instruments to sell off its OMAP division given that it has enough chips sold to be considered as a major player in the sector? Wouldn't this be the ideal time to ride out the tablet wave?

Only time will tell. We expect to hear more about this specific rumor in the near future.

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  • 0 Hide
    NatureTM , August 2, 2011 11:38 PM
    TI is really a good semiconductor company, so it'd probably be a valuable purchase. But isn't ARM just a set of standards? I'd think a company like Intel or AMD wouldn't have much trouble designing an ARM CPU themselves. Might be a more valuable purchase for some other semiconductor company who's looking to get into the low-power CPU market. Then again, TI does rock at low-power, maybe Intel or that other company could glean some good power saving tech from their purchase.
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    mister g , August 2, 2011 11:53 PM
    If their processors are so good I'd really wish they would advance their graphing calculators and make them thinner or just more modern. Their new nSpire line are touchscreens but their basic TI-84s and 89s are still not much faster and just as bulky as the 82s and 83s while keeping the same price points of >$100.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2011 12:26 AM
    mister gIf their processors are so good I'd really wish they would advance their graphing calculators and make them thinner or just more modern. Their new nSpire line are touchscreens but their basic TI-84s and 89s are still not much faster and just as bulky as the 82s and 83s while keeping the same price points of >$100.

    As long as the schools keep requiring the older models they won't change the basic designs. They are very durable even thought slow and somewhat ugly. I've dropped my 83plus many times and its still working perfectly. The prices will remain high because every year a huge number of students are forced into the purchase.
  • Display all 12 comments.
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    mister g , August 3, 2011 1:02 AM
    They actually don't really require them, it's just easier for teachers since it was what they were using when they were in school. Me, I was forced into the purchase, and only bought new because my parents didn't trust used calculators. Really wish there was competition in this market other than the cheap Casio's I've been seeing that never seem to do what i want them to do (and these are the scientific ones too).
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 3, 2011 2:45 AM
    Apple will possibly be very interested in buying this.
  • 0 Hide
    daniel123244 , August 3, 2011 4:00 AM
    EddieroolzApple will possibly be very interested in buying this.

    I don't think this is a very likely scenario as I don't believe Apple manufactures their own chips/products.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , August 3, 2011 9:52 AM
    So yet another player seem to have understood the arm soc market is overcrouded and the good times are about over or otherwise they would have kept it! My bet is that most phone/pad/whatever gadget producer will license the basic cpu and then glue together whatever extensions they like like video encoding/decoding on their own chips and then have a third party like global foundry or tcms produce them. No reason to make wide area soc based platforms when you can make your own custom tailored one!
  • 0 Hide
    pollom , August 3, 2011 2:37 PM
    O a big lost, but I hate a litle bit Ti, they are a litle bit racist I will miis the beagle board, Omap one of the best ARM cpus. and incredible good development boards.
  • 0 Hide
    mosu , August 3, 2011 10:24 PM
    It seems that Apple is trying to "emulate" the "Microsoft/Nokia" scenario and is out fishing for a fab.Hope TI managers are not that stupid!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2011 5:46 PM
    Guys its just a rumour spread by rival companies of TI and do not spend time in writing blogs on who is the potential buyer.
    TI road map is strong and they see strong growth in wireless.
    They had invested 3-4 years in R&D of OMAP4/5 and now its time for TI to get revenues out of these chips/products.So no point they will even think of selling OMAP BU.

    So sleep for now and Start spreading different rumours now.
  • 0 Hide
    NatureTM , August 4, 2011 10:34 PM
    @Always-Accurate (lol @ your name)

    About their R&D investment, and how they would not even think about selling: wouldn't they always consider selling if they thought they'd make more money selling vs remaining in the market? Their R&D is a sunk cost. They should absolutely think about it if they care about serving their investors.

    I will spend time writing on blogs about whatever I want.
  • 0 Hide
    marvolo , August 22, 2011 5:17 PM
    ARM allows production of its chips through licensed foundries. Some licenses allow the company to slightly modify the technology to suit the final purpose, since many ARM CPUs are designed for a certain use, such as a phone or a server. Most licenses, though, are only permitted to sell their final product using the exact design from ARM, and only then when used in another product. ARM does not allow companies to sell ARM chips alone. I guess you might be able to say it's a standard, but the way I understand it, it's much more closely guarded than that. Currently, neither Intel nor AMD are licensed by ARM, and Intel has its Atom line, which is in direct competition with ARM as a low-power CPU.
    Also, as a side note, I agree with Anonymous. There are currently many sources that cite a TI spokesperson directly denying the rumors of a potential sale of the OMAP line.