The University of Southampton

Southampton first European university to receive Charles Babbage Grant

Published: 25 August 2009

Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor design, verification and manufacturing, has awarded this year's Charles Babbage Grant to the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), making the University of Southampton the first in Europe to receive this award.

Through the grant ECS will receive licences of Synopsys' comprehensive electronic design automation (EDA) software and intellectual property. The grant will also enable the University to set up a brand new laboratory for virtual learning. The Virtual Learning Environment will focus on integrated circuit design and will also involve a new range of courses on advanced system-on-chip (SoC) design, with support and professor training from Synopsys. The grant has also enabled ECS to install new computer hardware in the virtual learning laboratory to support 15-20 students.

Synopsys software provides students and researchers with the opportunity to utilise industrial tools for logic and physical synthesis, circuit simulation, nanometre device modelling and fabrication process modelling. Synopsys software serves as the foundation for an industry design flow where students get real-world, hands-on experience of building and testing their designs.

'The School of Electronics and Computer Science is the largest of its kind in the UK with a long tradition of research in electronic engineering and computer science. This grant enables us to continue that tradition with the latest leading-edge commercial tools,' said Dr Matt Swabey, Electronics Teaching Fellow at ECS. 'We can now give our students real quantitative experience in modelling SoCs, enabling them to modify and try out designs to achieve defined goals. This ability will be enormously valuable to our students.'

Access to commercial grade design tools for advanced research and microelectronic design is a common issue facing universities today. Synopsys helps solve this challenge through initiatives like the Charles Babbage Grant and its Worldwide University Program, which provide select universities with design software for modern electronic design flows and leading IC fabrication processes.

John Chilton, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Development at Synopsys, attended a ceremony in ECS to formally open the lab and meet with students and faculty.

'Synopsys selected the University of Southampton because of its global reputation for leading-edge research and its academic focus on engineering and computer science,' commented John Chilton. 'Through this grant, Synopsys enables the University, through the School of Electronics and Computer Science, to further its reputation as a leading academic institution and to give its students access to the latest tools and equipment, supporting their educational experience and preparing them for future roles in industry, academia or government.'

Dr David Flynn, Fellow in Research and Development at ARM Ltd and Visiting Professor in the Pervasive Systems Centre in ECS, commented: 'Building on a long-term research relationship with Synopsys Inc, I am delighted to see this valuable award presented back to the UK where Charles Babbage was born. ARM has benefited from many good graduates recruited over the years from the University of Southampton and I am confident that access to the latest system-on-chip implementation and verification EDA tools will benefit teaching and research projects as well as equipping students with valuable and relevant hands-on tools experience in the future.'

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel. +44(0)23 8059 5453

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