New collaboration enables silicon implementation of leading-edge CPUs for academic projects
LONDON, UK – 15 December, 2015 – Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) announces expansion of its Imagination University Programme (IUP) through a pioneering partnership with EUROPRACTICE. The partnership will enable students in over 670 universities and research institutions in 44 countries across the EMEA region to access a latest generation, fully supported MIPS Warrior M-class CPU with optional hardware virtualization that can provide the basis for a multi-domain security solution.
EUROPRACTICE is a European Commission initiative which aims to stimulate the wider adoption of state-of-the-art microelectronics design. The organization provides easy access to a wide range of cost-effective and leading-edge electronic system design tools, with routes to IC fabrication for non-commercial teaching and research in academic institutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia.
As a result of the collaboration between Imagination and EUROPRACTICE, students and researchers will be able to create innovative, secure SoC designs and for the first time fabricate a small number of devices with an advanced industry standard embedded processor core. These advanced systems can find applications in a wide variety of markets ranging from microcontrollers and wearables to home networking and entertainment to automotive and storage. MIPS M-class CPUs can be found in hundreds of millions of chips being shipped today.
The partnership with EUROPRACTICE is the latest in a series of initiatives that Imagination has undertaken to provide a complete and unique path for academia to improve CPU architecture education at universities. Earlier this year, Imagination launched MIPSfpga, which offers universities around the world free and open access to a fully-validated, current generation MIPS CPU in a comprehensive teaching package. Imagination also has a strong position in teaching the theory of computer architecture with MIPS. Two of the top books currently used by colleges around the world use the elegant MIPS architecture as a foundation: ‘Computer Organization and Design’ by David A. Patterson and John L. Hennessy, and ‘Digital Design & Computer Architecture’ by David Harris and Sarah Harris. Now the partnership with EUROPRACTICE extends the use of MIPS as a key teaching architecture by enabling students to fully study and understand the implementation of a CPU in silicon.
Says Robert Owen, manager, Worldwide University Programme, Imagination: “With the phenomenal success of our MIPSfpga program, we’ve been receiving an increasing number of requests from professors and universities around the world about how they can add value to their projects by enabling researchers and students to put their designs into silicon. Our partnership with EUROPRACTICE will enable students to design and bring to fruition highly differentiated products that take full advantage of the efficiency, performance and unique features of MIPS CPUs. This includes Imagination’s OmniShield multi-domain security technology, which will enable them to address the stringent security and reliability needs of many next-generation products.”
Says Dr. John A. McLean, head of the EUROPRACTICE design tool service, which is managed by the Microelectronics Support Centre at the Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK: “Over the last 20 years, EUROPRACTICE has endeavored to bring leading technologies, technical support and training to universities to ensure that students are appropriately educated for their future work in the industry. Our partnership with Imagination is historic since for the first time it provides students with access to the world-class MIPS architecture so they can learn how to design and build cutting-edge products for tomorrow.”
Member universities who participate in the EUROPRACTICE program can license M-class CPUs for a modest fee, and will receive training and on-going support from EUROPRACTICE as they create their prototypes and produce sample quantities in silicon.
“This is an exciting development for all of us in the field of computer and hardware education. As my students and researchers work on novel heterogeneous architectures and application specific processors, it is extremely beneficial for them to not just simulate SoC designs, but experience what it takes to create sample volumes of their projects.”
- Michael Huebner – Chair of Embedded Systems and Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany
“At Imperial College we’ve been working with Imagination to deliver cutting-edge CPU education and workshops for hands-on learning. Now thanks to Imagination’s partnership with EUROPRACTICE, our researchers will have access to the MIPS M-class cores and will be able to translate their advanced design concepts to productization – heralding a brand new chapter in our engineering education.”
- Peter Cheung, Vice Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London, U.K.
“We were delighted to have been among the first users of Imagination’s revolutionary MIPSfpga program, which enables students to modify and experiment with every aspect of the MIPS computer architecture. This latest step in enabling researchers to turn their designs to actual implementations is a huge step forward. With these programs, Imagination is helping students and researchers move beyond the theoretical to benefit from hands-on learning and real-world information.”
- Philip Watts, EPSRC Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London, U.K.
About the Imagination University Program
The Imagination University Program (IUP) is designed to provide practical help to teachers around the world so that they can use Imagination’s technologies in courses and student projects. The focus is on providing the four vital elements needed to teach a course: a suitable hardware platform at a reasonable price, free software development tools, effective technical support, and excellent teaching materials that serve genuine teaching needs. The IUP is open to all members of academia. For more information, visit http://community.imgtec.com/university.
EUROPRACTICE is a European Commission initiative to provide European academic institutions with state of the art design tools and access to IC fabrication technologies. This enables academia to easily adopt new design techniques in their research and training programs and to produce the highly trained graduates required in order to keep European industry competitive in world markets. EUROPRACTICE was launched by the European Commission in 1995 as a successor to EUROCHIP which was launched in 1989.
About Imagination Technologies
Imagination is a global technology leader whose products touch the lives of billions of people across the globe. The company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) includes the key processing blocks needed to create the SoCs (Systems on Chips) that power all mobile, consumer and embedded electronics. Its unique software IP, infrastructure technologies and system solutions enable its customers to get to market quickly with complete and highly differentiated SoC platforms. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating some of the world’s most iconic products. See: www.imgtec.com.