At the Arm Research Summit, the Arm Research Enablement team announced some exciting new initiatives. These were among our updated roadmap of technical offerings and user experience improvements. There was focus on the needs of the academic research community. It seems that a lot of progress has been made since then on several fronts. We can share an update on our latest activities.
Our Research Enablement team are dedicated to working closely with the academic research community. This is to identify the challenges that are faced and help to improve the experience of researchers using Arm IP. The key areas that we are focused on include:
Let us have a closer look now into all these different categories of the Research Enablement program.
A primary focus for us this year has been the development of Arm Flexible Access for Research. This research allows academic researchers to access a wide portfolio of unobfuscated Arm IP at no charge. A new accelerated delivery process, and a simple permissive click through End-User License Agreement, makes it quicker and simpler than ever before to research using Arm IP.
Arm Flexible Access for Research will include IP from Arm Cortex-A, Cortex-R and Cortex-M CPUs, Mali GPUs, interconnect, peripherals, and subsystems. This makes it the ideal solution for any researcher – whether you need to develop, simulate, prototype on FPGA or manufacture an academic SoC. We also provide Arm tools, software models and online training, free of charge and easy to access for academic research partners.
As announced at the Summit, this is available in early 2020, and our first academic partners are already accessing our IP through a beta version of the delivery channel. And, this helps us to exhaustively test the process. Initial feedback has been positive, with partners being excited to have easy access to such a wide variety of Arm IP. This is ensuring the acceleration of innovation in the academic research community.
Even though we expect the general availability release covers most of academic SoC research and design requirements, we keep investing in and further enhancing the package. Both in terms of the accessible product portfolio, and process improvements to further reduce delivery time. Planned portfolio improvements include the availability of physical IP products, which will widely open the manufacturing path for academic SoCs.
Ensuring it is as easy as possible for academic researchers to access our content is important. But the technical content we deliver must be relevant to be useful to the academic community. Arm IP is of high value, as shown by Arm’s commercial position. For academic researchers who do not have access to large and specialized design teams, the extra technical deliverables are paramount, such as integrated systems and clear documentation. We are committed to keep improving our technical content and make it as simple as possible for you to innovate using Arm technologies.
In November 2018, Arm announced a key addition to the successful DesignStart program. DesignStart FPGA on Cloud was the first Arm platform that is designed for prototyping on the cloud. The cloud-based platform, based on the Arm Cortex-M33, provides a seamless experience for embedded software developers. This is for developers who want to take advantage of this processor’s key features, including TrustZone security and advanced ML capabilities. Such features are vital to next-generation IoT devices and can be harnessed without having access to a physical Cortex-M33 board. We are now pleased to announce two new enhancements to our cloud-based offering:
Another key request for technical content that we hear often from academic partners is for an entry level Linux-capable platform. This is like the Arm Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 DesignStart subsystems. This gives researchers the opportunity to easily integrate their hardware accelerator on a reference system and run various applications on that, using a rich OS like Linux.
Arm Cortex-A5 and all other relevant IP for Cortex-A5-based SoCs have been available to academics for some time now. However, the new Cortex-A5 DesignStart package adds additional features:
FPGA Prototyping: If you want to prototype your system on FPGA, you can do this even more easily by using our MPS3 FPGA board optimized package.
The development of the Cortex-A5 DesignStart platform is progressing well – the simulation models have already been released in our latest release of Arm Development Studio, and hardware system will become available early next year.
Collaboration between academics from different institutions is vital to accelerate the progress of technology development. The Arm Research SoC Labs community, as announced at the Arm Research Summit, will provide the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate efficient collaboration. Academics can search for and contribute technical deliverables, research papers, and share their expert knowledge with peers. As well this, they can benefit from technical contributions and resources provided by Arm.
The Arm Research SoC Labs online community brings together academic-developed SoCs designed by Arm-enabled academic partners, so that more researchers can benefit from them. The first release of the Arm Research SoC Labs online community goes live alongside Arm Flexible Access for Research, early in 2020.
It is an exciting time for the Arm Research Enablement team. Many of the initiatives we have been working to bring to the academic research community becoming available soon. If you are interested in accessing any of the resources that are mentioned in this post that are not already available, please get in touch with us. We value your feedback highly, so if you have any comments, ideas, or proposals please reach out.
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