Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute signs access deal with Arm

11/24/2020 05:55 PM
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Officials at the signing ceremony. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020
Officials at the signing ceremony. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) The Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) signed an agreement with the British semiconductor and software design company Arm on Tuesday, allowing TSRI free access to a wide range of Arm's products for research purposes.

TSRI is the first institute in Asia to be included in the Arm Flexible Access for Research program, which will enable researchers to use CPU processors and software produced by Arm when designing new systems of their own.

Under the program, Taiwanese researchers will not have to develop chips from scratch but can instead build on existing products, said Yeh Wen-kuan (葉文冠), director-general of TSRI, at the signing ceremony in Taipei.

"It is like standing on the shoulders of giants. It dramatically lowers the barrier to entry," said Yeh.

Chen Chi-shi (陳麒旭), a deputy section chief at TSRI, said the goal of the program is to help professors further their research and allow students to gain hands-on experience in their respective fields.

With the signing of the agreement, TSRI has also become the first research institute to gain access to ETHOS-N78, the newest neural processing unit (NPU) developed by Arm, said C.K. Tseng (曾志光), president of Arm Taiwan.

The new NPU can be used in accelerating the development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications, said Tseng.

The TSRI is one of eight institutes of the National Applied Research Laboratories under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

(By Su Ssu-yun and Chiang Yi-ching)

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