LONDON Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) has signed up Prometric Inc. (Baltimore, Md.) to design and deliver the ARM Accredited Engineer certification program for software and hardware engineers.
The program was scheduled to launch first in Mainland China and Taiwan in mid-2012 before being extended to the United States, India and Europe. The program has similarities to an IT worker certification scheme that has been run by Microsoft for many years.
Prometric, which runs training and accreditation schemes on behalf of a number of companies and organizations including Microsoft, has been asked to supply test development and secure administration of the ARM examinations through its network of computer-based testing centers.
Candidates to become ARM Accredited Engineers have to attend a test center with government supplied ID such as a passport or driving license and take a computerized test. There is a fee to take the exam that varies by country. It is £125 in the U.K. and $200 in the United States and $160 (US dollars) in Taiwan, according to the Prometric website.
Gaining the ARM Accredited Engineer (AAE) status is not necessary to work on ARM-based projects but it is expected to provide engineers and students with an advantage over their peers when seeking employment.
Are there any prerequisites before taking the exam, for example certain years of experience in working with ARM based processor hardware/ software? I feel, mandating a year or a couple of years of experience in working with ARM based processor for taking the exam makes practical sense. But, that might create "chicken and egg" situation for the engineers fresh from college.
This may be the first processor-based certification but I see calls for certification come and go periodically. I have yet to see one which was worth the effort for someone doing embedded software and I expect this one to be no different. Contrary to Kris's assertion, I don't expect it become a requirement; I've never worked with an ARM core and don't expect to in the foreseeable future.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for todays commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.