AMD has just released a chip for robots –yes, you can buy it to try building your life-size Mech

The AMD Kria KD240 Starter Kit
(Image credit: Xilinx)

AMD has bolstered its Kria portfolio of adaptive system-on-module (SOM) boards with the K24 and KD240 Drives Starter Kit, which are designed to control electric motors in robotics systems.

With this new platform, Kria is aiming to lower the barrier to entry for using chips designed for robotics, according to Serve the Home

Starting from $250, the K24 SOM and its corresponding starter kit target cost-sensitive industries and commercial edge use cases. It could be used in electric motor systems, robotics for factory automation, power generation as well as public transportation, including elevators and trains. It may also be fitted into medical systems, including in surgical robotics devices, and MRI beds.

Robotics made simple

Armed with a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor as well as a dual-core Arm Cortex-R5F real-time processor, and running Ubuntu, the K24 is something of an entry-level module. It also features a Mali-400 MP2 GPU, and an AMD Deep Learning Processor, alongside 2GB LPDDR4 RAM.

It’s far more accessible than the souped-up K26, and it’s specifically tailored for computing and input/output (I/O) for motor control. What makes it especially useful for motor control is the lower latency than comparable units, with the K24 expressing 120ns, which AMD claims is up to half the 276ns of the Texas Instruments’ AM64XX.

The K24 can, however, be used in conjunction with the K26 in the same robotics systems thanks to a compatible connector.

The integrated fan-out packaging means it’s also roughly half the size of a credit card. As a result, it consumes much less power than other options on the market; it guzzles as half as power as the aforementioned K26.

Kria’s starter kit, meanwhile, includes an array of additional components that make getting started much quicker and easier to build robotics systems, even at home. This will come in addition to a second starter kit, the REB Robotics 2-in-1 Motor Kit Accessory, which is coming out in the near future.

More from TechRadar Pro

Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor (Technology), Live Science

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Technology Editor for Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital and ComputerActive. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. In his previous role, he oversaw the commissioning and publishing of long form in areas including AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation.