Section: Other Grants and Activities
Participants : Jean-François Le Tallec, Julien Boucaron, Aamir Mehmood Khan, Robert de Simone.
This ambitious regional initiative is intended to foster collaborations between local PACA industry and academia partners on the topics of microelectronic design, though mutualization of equipments, resources and R&D concerns. We are actively participating in the Design Platform (one of the three platforms launched in this context). Other participants are UNS, CNRS (I3S and LEAT laboratories), L2MP Marseille, CMP-ENSE Gardanne on the academic side, and Texas Instruments, Philips, ST Microelectronics, ATMEL, and Esterel-EDA on the industrial side.
Inside this platform we are coordinating a dedicated project, named Spec2RTL, on methodological flows for high-level SoC synthesis. Participants are Texas Instruments, NXP, ST Microelectronics, Synopsys, Esterel-EDA, and Scaleo Chip as industrial partners, INRIA, I3S (CNRS/UNSA) and ENST on the academic side. A pool of PhD students are funded on a par basis between industrial partners and local PACA PhD grants under the BDI programme.
Jean-François Le Tallec started his PhD thesis in connection with Scaleo Chip , a local SME company developing SoC platform simulators. The PhD topic is to investigate new virtual platform environments at ESL TLM level, and their relation to formal modeling in multiclock Esterel .
Sadly this year we had to cope with large lay-offs inside our Texas Instruments partner, which indirectly contributed to the shut-down of the Esterel-EDA INRIA spin-off company. All this was due to reasons fully external to the project, but impacted it negatively. The Esterel Studio compiler has recently been bought by the Synfora company, with which we are seeking further collaborations.
In the prospects of the upcoming second phase of the programme, named CIM PACA 2011, we are considering possible future extensions leading to a better and more realistic use of Virtual Hardware Platforms (VHP), In this direction we seriously considered the Synopsys tools, which were acquired as mutualized softwares by the Design Platform: Innovator , System Studio , CoreAssembler , CoreBuilder . Other similar tools are also under evaluation.