Imagination partners with MOSIS to empower universities to implement leading-edge CPUs in silicon for research projects

LONDON, Sept. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) is partnering with MOSIS, a provider of production solutions for integrated circuit (IC) designers, to make it possible for students and researchers to create innovative, secure SoC designs and fabricate a small number of devices with an advanced embedded processor core. Through the partnership, students can fully study and understand the implementation of a CPU in silicon, and researchers can undertake advanced research projects.

Through this latest Imagination University Programme (IUP) initiative, academic institutions across the Americas and Asia Pacific region have access to a latest generation, fully supported MIPS Warrior M-class M51xx CPU. A hardware virtualization feature in these CPUs can provide the basis for a multi-domain security solution – an important consideration for many research projects including those for the Internet of Things (IoT). MIPS M-class CPUs can be found in hundreds of millions of chips being shipped today across a wide variety of markets including industrial controllers, IoT, wearables, wireless communications, automotive and storage.

With their elegant RISC design, MIPS CPUs have long been the CPUs of choice for teaching computer architecture. Two of the top books currently used by colleges around the world use MIPS 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. Imagination is supporting translations of this latter book into multiple languages. In addition, universities around the globe are taking advantage of the IUP MIPSfpga program that provides free and open access to a fully-validated, current generation MIPS CPU in a comprehensive teaching package.

Says Robert Owen, manager, Worldwide University Programme, Imagination: “The partnership with MOSIS is the latest in a series of IUP initiatives focused on providing a complete and unique path for academia to improve CPU architecture education. Through the IUP we are offering a complete spectrum of CPU education around MIPS, starting with theory, advancing to studying an unobfuscated CPU core and now enabling academics to implement their designs in silicon. With its proven, 30-year history in fabricating devices, MOSIS is an ideal partner for universities as they take designs to silicon.”

Says Wes Hansford, MOSIS director: “Through our MOSIS Education Program (MEP) we have long worked with academic institutions to support instructional and research work. We are delighted to offer universities access to this latest generation, well supported, and well documented MIPS CPU. Through our partnership with Imagination we are providing academics with important resources to which they have never before had access.”

Says Jeff Draper, research associate professor, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering; deputy director of computational sciences and technology, University of Southern California: “I’m excited about incorporating a commercial-grade implementation of the classical Hennessy and Patterson architecture into our course and research projects.”

Member universities who participate in the MOSIS program can license M-class CPUs for a modest fee, and will receive training and on-going support from MOSIS as they create their prototypes and produce sample quantities in silicon.

Through the IUP and EUROPRACTICE, universities in the EMEA region have access to a similar program.

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

For 30-plus years, IC designers from global semiconductor companies, fabless companies, research labs at some of the world's top academic institutions, and large government contractors, have relied on MOSIS for an efficient, affordable way to prototype and volume-produce their devices. The company has special expertise in providing Multi-Project Wafers (MPWs) and related services that drive IC innovation. Their “shared mask” model provides a practical and affordable prototyping channel that allows designers to debug and perform essential design adjustments - before making a substantial strategic investment. MOSIS also provides volume-production services from design spec interpretation through mask generation and device fabrication, and onto assembly. Since 1981, more than 60,000 IC designs have been processed through the MOSIS service. Visit

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:

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Imagination Technologies and the Imagination Technologies logo are trademarks of Imagination Technologies Limited and/or its affiliated group companies in the United Kingdom and/or other countries. All other logos, products, trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Imagination Technologies’ Press Contacts: 
UK: David Harold                     
+44 (0)1923 260 511

USA: Jen Bernier-Santarini            
+1 408-530-5178

MOSIS Press contact:
Wes Hansford                                 

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