IMEC and CoWare Collaborate on Multi-Mode Multimedia Development

3/9/2005 - IMEC and CoWare have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the development of an integrated design flow for efficiently mapping advanced multimedia and wireless applications on a flexible and programmable platform. The design flow is an integral part of IMEC's multi-mode multimedia (M4) program and will be used to develop software-defined radio and multi-format multimedia codecs. The two organizations intend to close the gap between IMEC's proprietary research tools and CoWare's electronic system-level (ESL) design tools.

One of the major targets within the design technology part of the M4 program is to develop an integrated digital design flow for multi-processor based platforms which is applicable for industrial applications. IMEC has an extensive tool suite in support of this design flow and performs research on tools for the design flow that are currently not available on the market. The intended collaboration with CoWare is a first industrial partnership to complete the flow. The design flow is driven by research on future applications, such as software-defined radio and multi-format multimedia codecs.

With the move toward nomadic embedded systems, such as an M4 terminal targeted in IMEC's program, designers face huge challenges in the efficient mapping of complex digital applications on flexible multi-processor platforms. Currently, no integrated design flow exists for platform creation together with application mapping that deals with the complexity, flexibility and low-power specifications of new applications within an acceptable design time and cost.

To close this gap, both IMEC and CoWare will make the interfaces of their appropriate tools compatible with the requirements of IMEC's design flow. The flow comprises an application mapping flow and platform implementation. Starting from a behavioral specification of the application, the application mapping flow includes three major phases:

The result of the application mapping is a completely configured flexible platform architecture. The architecture will be further implemented by state-of-the-art hardware/software co-design tools, compilers and synthesizers.

"IMEC has both mature and preliminary research tools that support multi-processor platform-based design. Our ATOMIUM technology for memory optimization is a perfect example of mature research that IMEC spun out to PowerEscape, Inc in 2003. To create a solution to efficiently design future nomadic embedded systems, our research tools need to be made compatible with state-of-the-art SoC tools," said Rudy Lauwereins, IMEC Vice President, Design Technology for Integrated Information and Communication Systems. "By combining tools and building on CoWare's expertise and other industrial players in HW/SW co-design, we can offer our partners a full solution."

"CoWare and IMEC share a strong strategic relationship that extends back to 1996 when CoWare was founded as an IMEC spin-off," said Karl Van Rompaey, Chief Technical Officer, CoWare. "By connecting CoWare's ESL tools with IMEC's design flow and proprietary tools, we jointly take a major step toward the design of nomadic embedded systems."

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide, position IMEC as a key partner with which to develop and improve technologies for future systems.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes over 400 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2004, its estimated revenues were EUR 159 million. Further information on IMEC can be found at

About CoWare
CoWare is a leading supplier of electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services. CoWare offers a comprehensive set of electronic system-level (ESL) tools that enable SoC developers to "differentiate by design" through the creation of system-IP including embedded processors, on-chip buses, and DSP algorithms; the architecture of optimized SoC platforms; and hardware/software co-design. The company's solutions are based on open industry standards including SystemC. CoWare's customers are major systems, semiconductor, and IP companies in the market where consumer electronics, computing, and communications converge. CoWare's corporate investors include ARM Ltd. [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)], Cadence Design Systems (NYSE:CDN), STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE). CoWare is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has offices around the world. For more information about CoWare and its products and services, visit

CoWare is a registered trademark of CoWare, Inc. in the United States.

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