Following many years of collaboration on a range of research projects, Arm Research and the University of Bristol formalised this close relationship with the establishment of an Arm Centre of Excellence last year. Six months in, the Centre of Excellence is already working to influence and enhance the research ecosystem across a range of topic areas. Working with social scientists and tech giants, corporations, local government and community partners, the institute will work to create transformational technologies to benefit our society now and in the future.
Arm is committed to supporting academic research and recognises the importance of maintaining strong links between academia and industry for continued research innovation. Arm awards Centre of Excellence (CoE) status to a few high-calibre research institutions. They represent a long-term strategic partnership, and might include collaborative research projects, co-authored publications, and joint PhD studentships across a range of research areas.
The Arm-Bristol collaboration focuses on four main strands of research: High Performance Computing (HPC), Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber Security, and Trusted Computing. In the past six months, the CoE has given Bristol students the opportunity to collaborate closely with Arm employees. This has enabled them to receive technical advice and support for their PhD projects, and to grow their own professional networks. Arm also provided two full bursaries to PhD students to attend the Arm Research Summit 2019 in Austin, Texas, joining academics, researchers and industry experts from around the world to talk about the latest computing challenges. The collaborative ethos has extended into a new £100m institute, set to transform how we engage with new digital technologies.
HPC research at Bristol is recognised as world leading. Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, who is also the Director of the newly established CoE, is the lead in this research. The Isambard project, which aims to deliver a Tier 2 high-performance computing service for UK-based scientists, was awarded ‘Best Paper’ at the 2019 Cray User Group Conference in Montreal for their work 'Scaling Results from the First Generation of Arm-based Supercomputers’. At the end of 2019, the project was awarded further funding to add the next generation of Arm-based technologies (Fujitsu's A64fx), while also significantly expanding and upgrading the current Arm-based production system. In collaboration with our Development Solutions Group (DSG), Arm Research is supporting several PhD students in the HPC group who are looking at advanced computer architectures for high-performance computing.
Read the full scaling results
Bristol’s IoT research group is led by Professor Ian Craddock, Deputy Director of the CoE. The group engages in various practical, scaled out IoT testbeds which use Arm technology. The EPSRC SPHERE project exploits advanced connected sensors to enable early diagnosis and in-home recovery. Arm is supporting their recently awarded Doctoral Training Centre in Digital Health and Care, and is supervising and mentoring PhD students, giving them the tools to influence the future of healthcare.
The Cyber Security group is led by Professor Awais Rashid, with three primary research focuses: security of cyber-physical infrastructure, software security, and human behaviors. The group take a holistic approach to their research, producing ground-breaking findings in all areas of security; their work investigates devices made for human use, but recently have been exploring wearable pet devices, highlighting the privacy implications as the data captured is more related to the owner rather than their pets. Their outlook broadens into the future, conducting imperative research into how we can create and sustain a cyber-secure environment.
In the Trusted Computing group, led by Professor Kerstin Eder, Arm are part-funding a PhD studentship as part of the ongoing collaboration. This student’s research investigates how existing and novel machine learning techniques can be used to improve the results of simulation-based hardware design verification.
“Building on successful historic collaborations, the Arm Centre of Excellence is a multi-year commitment which enables Arm and the University of Bristol to work closely together on developing aligned research, technology development, and educational initiatives. We are excited to build on our engagements with the GW4 HPC consortium enabling them to support AI and high-performance data analytics, and we look forward to collaborating more deeply on cyber-secure distributed IoT systems within the recently announced Bristol Digital Futures Institute.”
John Goodenough, VP of Research Collaborations, Arm Research
"The Arm Centre of Excellence at the University of Bristol consolidates the many collaborations that have developed between our two organisations”, said Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, the Principle Investigator for the new Centre. “The CoE has enabled us to take these collaborations to the next level, with particular research focuses on high-performance computing (HPC), cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the HPC space, the university and Arm have several exciting research programmes already underway, including Isambard, the world’s first production supercomputer using Arm-based processors, and ASiMoV, a five-year, EPSRC prosperity partnership project that is led by Rolls-Royce, which is aiming to achieve the first high-fidelity, multi-physics simulation of a gas turbine (jet) engine during operation. Through the CoE both Isambard and ASiMoV will be enhanced and accelerated, and several new Arm-related HPC projects will also be starting up, supported by the CoE”.
Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, CoE Director, University of Bristol
We look forward to seeing what lies ahead for the Arm-Bristol Centre of Excellence! For more information about the University of Bristol and their influential research, visit their website, or get in touch with Andrea Kells - Research Ecosystem Director at Arm - to find out more.
Contact Andrea Kells