MIPSfpga Russia — Trip Report

Brief:

Wed, Oct 21, Flight San Francisco -> Moscow
Thu, Oct 22: Arriving to Moscow, participated at party at SECR conference
Fri, Oct 23: Preparation for seminar MIET and MSU, visit to ZITC
Sat, Oct 24: Delivered a speech at teenager’s electronic club in Space Exploration Museum
Sun, Oct 25: Informal meeting of people in electronics (Phystech, Unwires, Elvees, NIISI/SRISA, etc)
Mon, Oct 26: Full day seminar at MIET, at night — visit to Elvees
Tue, Oct 27: Full day seminar at MSU
Wed, Oct 28: Full day seminar at MEPhI
Thu, Oct 29: 4-hour lecture at Microchip Masters Russia
Fri, Oct 30: Full day seminar at ITMO
Sat, Oct 31: Meeting with one of Harris & Harris translators who works at Synopsys
Sun, Nov 1: Meeting with a couple of people promoting Hackatons, Linux and Arduino in Saint Petersburg
Mon, Nov 2: Additional seminar at ITMO, meeting with SPSUAI and Macro Group
Tue, Nov 3: 100% vacation
Wed, Nov 4: Travelling to Samara
Thu, Nov 5: Seminar organized by SSAU (dean is a translator of H&H)
Fri, Nov 6: Met with a journalist writing for PCWorld Russia
Sat, Nov 7: Travelling to Moscow
Sun, Nov 8: 100% vacation
Mon, Nov 9: Seminar organized by Phystech, meeting with people from Intel’s lab, MCST and Russian division of Soft Machines
Tue, Nov 10: Additional seminar at MSU, meeting with Baikal Electronics and Unwired (former Black Swift)
Wed, Nov 11: Visit to Skolkovo, later meeting with DZ.RU, Phystech, MEPhI and SRISA
Thu, Nov 12: Flight Moscow -> San Francisco

Details:

Full seminars and closely associated events

MIPSfpga seminar in National Research University of Electronic Technology (Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology — MIET)

Seminar preparation on October 23 and full seminar on October 26.

A top Russian university that specializes in electronics. Strategically located in Zelenograd, a remote part of Moscow that has two foundries (Mikron and Agstrem) and a number of electronic design companies including our customer Elvees (http://multicore.ru http://elvees.ru). Many of these companies get students from MIET.

MIET has a rich curriculum that covers semiconductor manufacturing, digital logic design, elements of microarchitecture, building systems with embedded processors and microcontrollers. They teach how to build a simple processor with ALU and implement it in FPGA. Adding MIPSfpga in their courses and research projects is a natural next step that allows the students to explore building SoCs with a real industrial core and to set experiments how changing the core inside affects the performance.

Also interested in reviewing Connected MCU.

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Zelenograd innovation and technology centre

A structure associated with MIET, located in the same group of buildings. Expressed interest in building an ecosystem around MIPSfpga by adding sensors and porting to different boards.

Visited on October 23 and October 26.

Photo of Peter Andreev (MIET), Yuri Panchul (Imagination), Alexander Kononov (ZITC) near the offices of ZITC:

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Elvees group of companies

MIPS licensee and a partner on SoC design.

Visited on October 26.

Offices of Elvees:

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Photo of Jaroslav Petrichkovich (President), Tatiana Solokhina (VP), Yuri Panchul and Vladimir Goussev (VP Engineering) inside the offices of Elvees:

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Lomonosov Moscow State University — MSU

A famous #1 recognized Russian university. The seminars were organized by the department of Computational mathemetics and Cybernetics. Their main focus is algorithms used in EDA tools. They may use MIPSfpga as a part of their FPGA labs. The main organizer, Michael Shupletsov also expressed interest in reviewing Connected MCU lab.

Seminar preparation on October 23, full seminar on October 27 and a second seminar for MSU students only on November 10.

Lecture on October 27:

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Lab on October 27:

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Lab on November 10:

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Seminar preparation on October 23:

Michael Shupletsov (MSU), Vladislav Podymov (MSU), Boris Danilov (MSU) and Grigory Antyufeev, an engineer from Baikal Electronics who (together with Michael Shupletsov and other participants from MSU) won a prestigious award 2015 CAD Contest at ICCAD:

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Michael Shupletsov (MSU), Yuri Panchul (Imagination), Anton Pavlov (NIISI/SRISA) and Boris Danilov (MSU) in front of Lomonosov supercomputer at Moscow State University:

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Anton Pavlov, a manager of educational programs at SRISA and an instructor at MEPhI, created his own version of MIPSfpga called myMIPSfpga and wrote an article about it «MIPSfpga: вне канона» that got >5000 views on geektimes.ru. Anton Pavlov presented his myMIPSfpga on seminars at MSU and (partially) MEPhI.

Sergey Lozhkin (Deputy Dean, MSU), Yuri Panchul, Dmitry Romanov (Associate Professor, MSU)

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I also met in MSU with two other individuals we should do follow-up:

Arkadiy Polyakov, professor at Moscow Power Engineering Institute (National Research University) who wrote a textbook on Verilog and VHDL. I met him first time back in 1997 when he was working in SEVA Technologies, Freemont, California:

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An article by Arkadiy Polyakov on VHDL written during his time in SEVA: http://www.freemodelfoundry.com/pdf/complex_models.pdf. Arkadiy might be useful in proliferating MIPSfpga in Russia.

Another professor to follow-up is Ivan Ivanov from National University of Science and Technology MISiS (Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys State Technological University). Ivan Ivanov is setting up PIC32 class at MISiS and he is interested in becoming a beta tester of Connected MCU. Before MISiS Ivan was working at Elvees and he has a lot of experience with MIPS architecture. He also plans to work with Microchip.

After the second seminar in MSU I met two persons from Baikal Electronics, a company that designed MIPS P5600 — based Baikal-T microprocessors: VP Business Development Evgeny Evdokimov and marketing manager Andrey Malafeev. We discussed the building software ecosystem around Baikal-T chips, boards and a possible event in Silicon Valley once Baikal has some general purpose accessible development boards that can be distributed to other people.

October 28: MIPSfpga seminar at National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

MEPhI is a top source of engineers for Russian processor companies, including NIISI/SRISA and Elvees. They also created a lab manual on MIPS-based processors from SRISA. Recently they started using MIPS-based Microchip PIC32MX for their lab. The focus of MEPhI is on digital logic design, embedded processors and radiation hardness. Students learn Verilog and VHDL, some advanced students build their own pipelined microprocessors in HDL.

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MIPSfpga seminar organizers at MEPhI: Yuri Panchul with

Igor Shagurin, Deputy Head of Micro and Nanoelectronics Department of MEPhI,

Maxim Gorbunov, Ph. D., lecturer at Micro- and Nanoelectronics Department of MEPhI; a researcher at Scientific Research Institute of System Analysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SRISA)

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A lab manual on MIPS-based processors, written by Igor Shagurin and his collegues:

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In addition to presentations from Imagination, Macro Group and Anton Pavlov (NIISI) we also invited Mikhail Peselnik and Denis Zheganin, guest speakers from MathWorks. Mikhail and Denis made a short presentation how to use MathWorks Simulink environment to create a simple model of single-cycle processor implementing a subset of MIPS architecture. They also demonstrated how to generate HDL code from this representation of the design. Mikhail and Denis’ presentation was useful because it demonstrated how to work with MIPS architecture in yet another way. It also widened the appeal of our materials among applied mathematicians who work with MATLAB. Eventually those people may try to use MIPSfpga with some math coprocessors. Mikhail Peselnik:

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October 29: A lecture about MIPSfpga on Microchip Masters Russia

Microchip Masters Russia is an annual event organized by Microchip Technology and their Russian partner Gamma Saint Petersburg. I planned to delived a short 1 1/2 hour lecture during this event but in fact I talked to them for 4 hours because people simply did not want to leave and I continued explaining to them about MIPS cores, caches, TLB MMU, detals of EDA flow etc.

A picture of Microchip Masters Russia participants during a lecture on PIC32 (this lecture was not mine, the crowd on my lecture was a little bit smaller):

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MIPSfpga seminar at ITMO University (Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics)

Two days: Full seminar on October 30 and MIPSfpga lab-only on November 2.

This is a #1 university in Saint Petersburg that teaches electronics. They have a lot of MCU experience, FPGA labs, there are many students familiar with Verilog and VHDL.

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On the left: Rostislav Grushvitsy from Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University, a well-known author of Russian textbooks on digital design.

On the right:

Alexander Philippov from Macro Group, an official representative of Xilinx in Russia. Alexander delivered a presentation in four locations (MIET, MSU, MEPhI, ITMO) about Xilinx Artix-7, UltraScale and Vivado.

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I also had a meeting in Saint Petersburg with two Macro Group managers: Gleb Pykhtin (distribution development director) and Oleg Bolikhov (lead product manager, digital electronics) who are interested in the following discussions:

1. With Robert Owen: Is it possible for them to become a trainers on MIPSfpga in Russia
2. With Steve Harris: Is it possible for them to become a commercial distributor of MIPSfpga in Russia

I also met with Yuriy Sheynin, a professor from Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation. Yuriy is also working with Elvees (joint papers on conferences) and participated in Harris & Harris book translation. Yuriy is interested in:

1. MIPSfpga VHDL wrapper, together with VHDL testbench and examples

2. MIPS interAptiv core to explore multithreading in research projects (a good fit for Creator Ci40 board)

Yuriy Sheynin is on the right:

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November 5: Samara State Aerospace University — SSAU

Solid regional university, connected to Microchip. Has a lab on PIC32 and Xilinx FPGA. Participated in Harris & Harris and MIPSfpga translations.

The main contact is Ilya Kudryavtsev, Dean of EE (Radio-Technology Department?)

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Students of Prof. Kudryavtsev who participated in Harris & Harris and MIPSfpga translations:

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Also in Samara I met with Vladislav Artukov, a freelance journalist writing for PC Week Russia:

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November 9: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University) — MIPT or Phystech

Phystech is famous because it is the hardest to get in. Its primary focus is Physics, however there are many software engineers and business people who came from Phystech; most recently Phystech took processor microarchitecture seriously — they have several groups that are doing SoC design, FPGAs, advanced modeling and projects in processor verification.

I met with five groups, linked with MCST, Soft Machines, Intel’s Lab in Phystech and a new Internet of Things lab.

MCST is a Russian processor company that has two lines of microprocessors — one is a proprietary VLIW architecture and another is an implementation of SPARC architecture.

Soft Machines is a startup that has three large groups of developers — in Santa Clara (RTL), in India (RTL) and in Russia (compiler, binary translation, verification).

Intel’s Lab at Phystech teaches microarchitecture using MIPS as an example:

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On the left — a gentlemen working with Soft Machines, on the right — Sergey Shlykov, R&DC Faculty of Radiotechnics and Cybernetics, Chief Scientific Officer:

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Students and researchers use MIPSfpga:

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A book on Elbrus VLIW processor designed by MCST:

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Teaching materials created by Phystech Department of Radio Engineering and Cybernetics that include the description of MESI algorithms for cache coherence:

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November 11: Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

My visit was organized by Nikolay Suetin, a Director of Science and Technology at IT Cluster in Skolkovo Foundation. One of the aspects of Skoltech is their Robotics Lab formed in cooperation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The researchers in that lab assemble robots from pre-built components, like Intel-based embedded computers and AVR-based Arduino boards. They also use open source image recognition software and development systems for rapid prototyping, like Arduino IDE.

Skoltech Robotics Lab may benefit from using our components like chipKit WiFIRE boards with Microchip PIC32MZ ( http://digilentinc.com/wifire ) that is more powerful than classic Arduino and has a same-looking equivalent of Arduino IDE called MPIDE – see http://chipkit.net/

Skoltech Robotics Lab may also benefit from using our Creator Ci40 board that allows running full-blown Linux and Android and is powerful enough for image recognition tasks.

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Other meetings and pre-meetings for seminars:

October 22:

Attended a party after SECR conference — Central & Eastern European Software Engineering Conference in Russia. Met representative of Russian division of IBM + several other folks interested in development for MIPS Linux and writing software tools for MIPS-based Baikal-T processor. This conference is organized in Digital October, a very popular place to organize hitech conferences and seminars.

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October 24:

Made a speech in KB Vostok, a teenager’s club of electronics at The Museum of Cosmonautics (Space Exploration Museum). This club teaches children and teens how to design basic electronic circuits using breadboards, soldering, Russian equivalents of TTL 7400 and CMOS 4000 series chips, as well as AVR microcontrollers. The club also has a partnership with Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

Ruslan Tikhonov from Amperka.ru, Yuri Panchul, Anton Mikhailov from Informatikum.ru:

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I also had two more meeting of similar type in Saint Petersburg, with people who promote Hackatons, Linux and Arduino.

October 25:

Informal gathering of people from Russian electronic industry and bloggers, including people from Elvees, SRISA, Black Swift / Unwired:

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October 31:

Meeting with one of Harris & Harris translators who works at Synopsys

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November 11:

Met with Dmitry Zavalishin, an owner of embedded software services company DZ.RU. Dmitry is interested to write some software for MIPS-based Baikal-T processors:

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About Юрий Панчул