EnCore becomes working prototype

Monday 27th July 2009
EnCore's future destination? The Media Phone is a new category of broadband based multimedia device that will be the “4th screen in the Home.” It will deliver direct access to internet-based entertainment and applications via a colour touch screen with high quality speaker phone.Courtesy: www.openpeak.com

A microprocessor, known as EnCore, delivers faster processing while using significantly less power and taking up less space than comparable devices. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have incorporated the microprocessor EnCore into a silicon chip, and a working prototype has been demonstrated in the laboratory.

The implication is, if this wins favour with manufacturers, MP3 players and 4G mobile phones could be more energy efficient thanks to a microprocessor configurable for a variety of gadgets. Its adaptability means its performance is not compromised by energy efficiency. Further multiple EnCore processors may be used together, creating high-performance multi-core systems for more demanding applications.

EnCore part of the PASTA project which seeks to automate design and optimise customisable embedded processors was begun in 2006, developed as a project funded by  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) investigating new methods of developing computing devices.

"Having seen this project through from the drawing board to a functioning computer, I am delighted with how well the chip performs in terms of its stability and low power consumption," comments Professor Nigel Topham, (right) University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, whose team developed the EnCore microprocessor.

The EnCore architecture is compatible with the ARC600 family of processors from ARC International, with whom the university has a long collaborative history. Professor Topham led design of the ARC600 microprocessor in 2003.

Dr Geoff Bristow, president and CEO of ARC International, (left) adds: "Professor Topham is one of the leading microprocessor inventors in the world, and has built an expert team of specialist researchers at Edinburgh. We are proud that he has chosen the ARC600 as the base architecture for his new creation and we are looking forward to sponsoring his future work."

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