LONDON Apollo, the IMEC research initiative intended to provide technology for the migration to 4G communications and mobile multiprocessing in the sub-45-nm era, has signed up Renesas Technology Corp. and Toshiba Corp. to its ranks.
The names were revealed by Serge Vernalde, technical business director for nomadic embedded systems at IMEC (Leuven, Belgium), speaking to press ahead of the Annual Research Review Meeting there.
Toshiba's name was revealed along with the news that it had licensed IMEC's flexible ADRES processor core with its corresponding DRESC C-compiler and the MPSoC multiprocessor design tool suite for mapping single-threaded C-application code to multi-processor platforms. Toshiba intends to use the ADRES processor for multiprocessor platforms for 4G gigabit per second wireless communication (see Oct. 13 story)
Toshiba has been in the program for some time evaluating the technology, Vernalde said.
One year ago, when the three-year Apollo program kicked off Samsung, a key partner in the predecessor M4 project was expected to renew its participation while Qualcomm had signed up to a technology-aware design (TAD) program within Apollo (see Oct. 22, 2007 story).
Vernalde confirmed that Samsung was involved along with Toshiba and Renesas, together with one other company that was due to sign contracts immediately prior to the ARRM. Vernalde declined to name the fourth company. He stressed that the technology developed so far supported a full range of communications protocols including WiMax, 3GPP LTE, HSDPA, GPRS, EDGE and the multiple WiFi flavors from 11a to 11n.
Speaking of the Toshiba license deal, Vernalde said: "This cooperation underlines the fact IMEC's ADRES and MPSoC technologies have reached the required maturity to be transferred to industry." Speaking of the broader cooperation and whether these other companies would also take the technology Vernalde said: "That is our plan. It is the right time to transfer the technology to industry."
However, Vernalde made no mention of M4S NV (Leuven, Belgium) which was set up to commercialize the results of the M4 program. It is not clear whether M4S has been instrumental in the licensing deal or has been bypassed. The Apollo program had been described as a roadmap for M4S and the intellectual property that it would be able to license to industry.
Vernalde said that the design of the follow-on version of ADRES, known as ADRES-MP and aimed at 45-nm manufacturing node, would complete in 2009.