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April 27, 2015

Imagination opens MIPS CPU to universities worldwide

Aiding the future study and development of computer architecture.

By Ellie Burns

As part of its Imagination University Programme (IUP), Imagination Technologies will now offer universities free and open access to a fully-validated, current generation MIPS CPU in a complete teaching package.

Dubbed MIPSfpga, the MIPS CPU is a simplified version of the company’s popular MIPS microAptiv CPU core which has been configured by an academic specifically for academic use.

Many academics are already familiar with the microAptiv CPU, and it already has a broad ecosystem of support based on its use in numerous commercial products including the PIC32MZ microcontroller (MCU) from Microchip Technology.

Available as part of a complete free-to-download package for universities, the offering includes a Getting Started Guide, teaching guide for professors, and examples designed to enable students to see how the CPU works and explore its capabilities.

With the materials, students can develop a CPU and take it through debug, running on an FPGA platform.

Electronic engineering, computer science and computer engineering courses have until now been lacking in access to real, un-obfuscated RTL code which enables professors and students to study and explore a real CPU. This is the gap which Imagination Technologies is trying to fill with MIPSfpga.

With MIPSfpga, Imagination Technologies aims to bring a new CPU architecture education paradigm to universities around the world.

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