Imagination Technologies is working with our partner and licensee Microchip Technology, a leading microcontroller company, to further promote the use of the MIPS® architecture to universities in Russia and Ukraine. Microchip’s PIC32 microcontroller uses the MIPS32® M4K™ core, and development boards based on the PIC32 are ideal vehicles through which students can learn about microcontroller-based system design as well as the MIPS architecture, which is used in a wide variety of digital home and networking devices. Such training can be extended in various different directions. First, students can learn about programming high-end MIPS cores used in Android™ and Linux-based systems. Another field of study is the design of the actual processor hardware. Finally, students can learn about the field of system-on-chip (SoC) design. Each of these areas is of great interest to industry colleagues I have spoken to in Russia, a country that is reinventing itself as a technology powerhouse.
Russia is a large country with a long history of scientific accomplishments. Russia launched the first man into space, and has produced numerous Nobel Prize winners. As the country continues to grow its expertise in science and technology, electronic engineering is a field that is exploding, and the universities there are educating future generations of electronic engineers to develop the next Russian innovations. I recently visited several universities in Russia and Ukraine where I met with students and professors who are interested in cooperating with Imagination to teach their students about computer architecture, system-on-chip design, digital signal processing, microcontrollers, embedded system development, parallel programming, Android, RTOS-es and more.
Overall, the visit was very productive, and demonstrated that Russia is ready to engage with international electronic companies for the mutual benefit of educating Russian engineers, who will go on to create new products for both Russian and world markets.
Below is a partial listing of the universities I visited:
- Yuri Panchul with a group of the students from Phystech’s Department of Innovation and High Technology. These students demonstrated software they created on a MIPS-based device. The software allowed the device to be used as both a mobile phone and a plug-in Linux desktop
● Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, also known as “Phystech.” My first presentation was organized by Phystech’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Control, together with a commercial company called Parallels, Inc., known for its virtualization products. The second presentation was organized by Phystech’s Department of Innovation and High Technology, which is educating students to understand both the technology and the business sides of the industry.
● National Research Nuclear University (formerly named the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute or MEPhI), another top-tier university. MEPhI has taught the MIPS architecture for many years and has its own MIPS-based textbooks that are written in Russian.
● Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO). This university has a sizeable group of students who are proficient with system-on-chip technologies.
● Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv – the most recognized Ukrainian university. Here I delivered a lecture at the Department of Radio Physics, where Electrical Engineering courses are taught.
● National Technical University of Ukraine’s “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI).” In the past, this university supplied young engineers to the first Soviet computing project in the late 1940s.
● Kiev Natural-Scientific Lyceum No. 145 and Ukrainian Physics and Mathematics Lyceum of Kiev University. I met with students and teachers from these two specialized high schools that teach children who are gifted in mathematics and physics.
● Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University. This school is located in a major industrial city that is home to many industries including automotive, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacture and others. The university already has a class that uses MIPS-based Microchip PIC32 microcontrollers in its curriculum.
● Samara State Airspace University (SSAU) is in a major industrial city on the Volga River known for the production of aerospace launch vehicles, satellites and airfield equipment.
I also attended the Microchip Masters training seminar in the resort town of Zelenogorsk, a suburb of Saint Petersburg. The event was organized by Microchip, via its Russian partner company Gamma Saint Petersburg.
To see photos and learn more details of my trip, click here.
Yuri Panchul has contributed to this post.