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Texas Instruments fosters development of future innovators around the world as Crown Supplier of the FIRST® Robotics Competition

PRNewswire
Mar 24, 2010

DALLAS, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Demonstrating its focus on supporting and cultivating the next generation of innovators around the globe, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced that it has joined forces with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) as a Crown Supplier of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®). FIRST is a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. TI's new ARM® Cortex™-M3-based Stellaris® Brushed DC Motor Control Module with CAN (MDL-BDC24 and MDL-BDC) is an official speed controller of the competition. For more information on the MDL-BDC24, go to www.ti.com/1mdl-bdc24-pr.

Crown is the highest supplier level for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), designating a contribution of more than $500,000. TI donated software and hardware engineering services, product discounts, and analog and digital semiconductor content for the MDL-BDC, MDL-BDC24, and National Instruments' CompactRIO products, all of which are used by more than 1,800 teams of high-school students in the 2010 FRC competition.  In addition, TI supplied Stellaris evaluation kits and reference design kits for the FRC playing field design.  Many TI employees worldwide are involved in FIRST at the local level as mentors and sponsors of FRC teams.

"TI's Stellaris motion control solutions provide FIRST teams with a solid foundation for jumpstarting designs and are key to enabling the hands-on, real-world experience the competition was designed to provide," said FIRST president, Paul R. Gudonis. "With its generous contribution to the FIRST Robotics Competition at our highest Crown Supplier level, TI makes it possible for us to turn the FIRST vision of inspiring young people's interest and participation in science and technology into a reality."

By providing components for the competition, FIRST suppliers are putting the latest technology in the hands of students, giving them the opportunity to apply the same tools used by professional scientists and engineers and ultimately helping them learn real-world skills they will carry into the workplace.

"Every FIRST event consistently showcases the inspired, innovative development that comes from spirited competition and intense teamwork," said Jean Anne Booth, director of worldwide Stellaris microcontroller marketing. "TI is proud to team with FIRST to support and teach future innovators by enabling real-world engineering experience while promoting FIRST's Gracious Professionalism™ which encourages high-quality work, respect, and collaboration – qualities intrinsic to TI's culture."

Since 1992, FIRST has brought the excitement of a sporting event to science and technology via robotics competitions. On January 9, the organization unveiled the annual engineering challenge to teams, who also received a Kit of Parts made up of 577 items including motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components – but no instructions. Working with mentors, students had just six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots in preparation for regional events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

In the 2010 FRC "Breakaway" robotics game, two alliances of three teams will compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals. Additional bonus points will be earned for each robot suspended in air and not touching the field at the end of the match.

More than 45,000 students from 12 countries will design and build robots to compete in regional events with winners advancing to the FIRST Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, April 15-17, 2010. Participating students are eligible to apply for nearly $12 million in scholarships offered by 130 leading universities, colleges, and companies.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun.  A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through design, sales and manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries.  For more information, go to www.ti.com.

About  FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usFIRST.org.

Trademarks

Stellaris is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated.  ARM is a registered trademark and Cortex is a trademark of ARM Ltd.  FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC® are registered trademarks, and FIRST® Place™, Coopertition™, Gracious Professionalism™, Sport for the Mind™, BREAKAWAY™, and Hot Shot™, are common law trademarks, of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (US FIRST). LEGO® and MINDSTORMS® are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®, and BODY FORWARD™ are jointly held trademarks of US FIRST and The LEGO Group. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Texas Instruments Incorporated