The ARM-ECS Research Centre was founded in 2008, and is a collaboration between researchers in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and ARM Research, Cambridge. On the back of winning the NMI University Research Group of the Year award at the end of 2015, the ARM-ECS Research Centre had a series of successes in 2016.
The Centre fosters innovation through research projects and support for PhD students and postdocs. Over the past year, Yunpeng Cai has filed a joint patent with ARM on low-power circuit design, and commenced an internship with them to tape-out the designs to silicon. Two further patents have been submitted as a result of the Centre’s collaborative research. Charles Leech completed a successful internship with ARM in the area of compute-intensive machine learning algorithms for ARM microcontrollers, which resulted in a publication at the IEEE Sensors Application Symposium (SAS 2017). Benjamin Fletcher started as a PhD student in the Centre funded by an EPSRC iCASE award, and is researching new technologies for 3D-IC on-chip communication. Anand Savanth’s paper on a supply-independent relaxation oscillator was accepted at the prestigious ISSCC 2017 conference, and also gained a mention in ACM TechNews. Matthew Walker’s research into run-time power modelling for mobile and embedded CPUs was accepted for publications in IEEE TCAD, and has been downloaded over 900 times over the past year. The tool has been released open source, and has been downloaded by researchers from all around the world. The work was also presented at tutorials at MICRO and ISPASS and demonstrated at DATE.
The team also had a strong presence at the ARM Research Summit in August 2016. Dr Alex Weddell gave an invited joint talk with James Myers (from ARM Research), focussing on the successful joint test-chip programme and prospects for energy harvesting. There were also presentations at the event from ECS academics Dr Geoff Merrett, Professor Michael Butler, Professor Mark Zwolinski and Dr Basel Halak.
The year also brought good news for collaborative projects: a Platform grant, entitled “Wearable and Autonomous Computing for Future Smart Cities: A Platform Grant” was awarded, to commence in April 2017. The Centre has also been allocated an iCASE PhD studentship commencing in October 2017, on the topic “Off and On Again: Optimising Intermittently-Powered Systems“; this is recruiting now.