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How Today’s Engineering Students Will Become the Processor Engineers of Tomorrow

Keith Graham has been appointed to lead the new Codasip University Program. From helping tomorrow’s processor experts to developing the technologies that will solve tomorrow’s technical challenges, and accelerating innovation, we asked Keith what it is all about. Keith explains how the University Program will help today’s engineering students become the next generation of processor engineers our industry needs.

Keith, why did you accept to join and lead the Codasip University Program?

Becoming the Head of Codasip’s University Program is my dream job. The technological challenges of tomorrow are yet to be solved and the next generation of processor engineers will need innovative, best-in-class IP and technology to achieve this. Before joining Codasip, I was already convinced by the benefits of customizing RISC-V processors using Codasip’s unique technology. Having many years of experience developing courses for the University of Colorado, it felt obvious to me that Codasip and universities could do great things together.

Over my thirty-seven years upon graduating Penn State, I have been a hardware design engineer, worked in start-ups, sold semiconductors, a small business owner, and a senior instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It is time for me to give back to the next generation.

What was the idea behind developing research partnership with universities?

In the 1980s, it was an era that it was not difficult to find a company that was developing a custom processor, but it ended due to the need to standardize software. The number of mainstream processors narrowed to around 6 in the 1990s. Now, with the open architecture of RISC-V, it solves the issue of standardized software with the advantage of enabling processor customization.

To solve tomorrow’s technology challenges in security, artificial intelligence, and many other domain specific applications, we need a new generation of processor engineers.

We are at the start of a new golden age of processor designs. Through the University Program, we will be making available innovative curriculum material, supporting research faculty, and creating an ecosystem to spur innovation and product development.

Keith Graham. Head of University Program. Source: Keith Graham.

What can engineering students and researchers expect from the program?

The Codasip University program helps universities develop the theory and the design skills that companies developing tomorrow’s SoCs will need. Together with our technology partners we provide engineering students and researchers with the support they need for their research projects.

Students and researchers will be provided with computer engineering curriculums, assignments, materials, and industry-grade tools.

By partnering with universities, we create a Design for Differentiation Ecosystem that will encourage sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas and designs. Universities will have access to FAQs, knowledge boards, a design database to share solutions, and will be able to participate in community activities such as design contests.

Which Codasip technology will students and researchers have access to?

The support of both the students and researchers will be through Codasip unique design automation toolset Codasip Studio and our High-Level Synthesis Language CodAL.

It is essential to provide students with access to CodAL and Studio. This unique technology will enable them to focus on becoming innovative processor designers. CodAL, our patented architecture description language, is more efficient and less error prone compared to using a less abstracted language like Verilog. Perfect for students.

With Studio, we want to provide the ideal processor design automation platform that will help future SoC designers build their ideas into something that could become a commercial product.

Interested in the Codasip University Program? Learn more on our website and get in touch with us.

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