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July 7, 2011: ECN

The Tinker’s Toolbox Talking About IP Cores and Embedded Systems Development

Hosted by Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is the Advantage Design Group's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.

In this episode, we talk to Simon Hambly (Left) and David Harold (Right) of Imagination Technologies, creators of communications semiconductor Intellectual Property (IP) cores targeting next-gen consumer electronics products with highly complex System-on-Chip (SoC) devices. Imagination has two highly-complementary divisions: its Technology division is an IP licensing business which provides market-leading multimedia capabilities for complex SoC devices; its PURE Digital division uses Imagination's technologies as a key differentiator in its consumer products.

Here is a link to the podcast: Imagination Interview

Here is a recent press release on the company's technology:

Imagination Technologies enables META connected processor embedded system development by University of Southampton students. Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia and communications technologies company, has donated a set of embedded systems development kits to the Electronics & Computer Science department at the University of Southampton.

The development systems, called METAmorphs, are based on a single chip SoC (system on chip) that incorporates both a META HTP multi-threaded processor core from Imagination's META family, as well as Imagination's ENSIGMA UCCP (Universal Communications Core Platform) radio-processing unit (RPU) to provide programmable multi-standard broadcast receiver and Wi-Fi connectivity tasks. The META processor is ideal for both running operating systems such as Linux and Imagination's MeOS™ real-time OS, as well as advanced 32-bit signal processing. This unique highly integrated SoC based development system provides a uniquely powerful research and development platform for students.

Says Professor Neil White, Head of ECS (Electronics and Computer Science), University of Southampton: "We very much value our relationship with Imagination Technologies, which is pioneering innovation in electronics in the UK and internationally. By supporting student projects using Imagination's latest technology, providing advice on industry needs, and by employing our students on placements, Imagination is helping to ensure that ECS can continue to provide the high level of graduates needed for future UK industrial success."

The METAmorph systems give students access to the same technologies which have been deployed in millions of shipping products across the TV, set-top-box, digital and FM radio and connected audio markets.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: "META and ENSIGMA UCCP technologies are enabling a new wave of what we call 'connected processors' – embedded processors with highly integrated communications and connectivity capabilities that will form the backbone of tomorrow's M2M "everything connected" world. Experience with embedded devices connected to the Cloud and the technologies needed to enable end to end cloud-based services to those devices are a vital area of study for students looking to be ready for the era of the connected home and machine-to-machine communication. We're delighted to be working with the University of Southampton to help train the next generation of connectivity-based embedded systems engineers."

Says Denis Nicole, reader in Electronics and Computer Science at the University: "Third-year students at Southampton are very grateful for these cutting-edge connected processor development systems from Imagination Technologies. Providing these systems has allowed students on the Real-Time Systems course to develop a broad range of multi-threaded DSP programs using Imagination's Codescape tools which are tightly integrated with the METAmorph platforms. Students are particularly encouraged to be using the same components that are found in the latest high street connected digital radios, and to be associated with one of the world's most successful UK-based electronics companies, where some hope to make their future careers."

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading multimedia IP cores for graphics, video, and display processing, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP cores and multi-standard communications and connectivity processors. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by platform level IP and services, a strong array of software tools and drivers and extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets includemobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics.Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.

Return to: 2011 Feature Stories