Politecnico di Milano - Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione
Politecnico di Milano (Milan, ITALY) is the largest Italian Technical University. The project will involve personnel of the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione (known as DEI) that, with over 600 members, is one of the major university departments in Europe, both for its size and for the quality of its research. Its mission is to constantly improve the scientific and technological knowledge in the fields of automatics, computer engineering, telecommunications, and electronics. POLIMI is a vital institution capable of promoting education, fundamental and applied research, and technology transfer to companies. In particular, the present research will be carried out in the Embedded Systems Design and Design Methodologies research group, composed of 3 full professors, 6 associate professors and a number of assistant professors and PhD students. This group has long been active in the field of designing computer architectures and developing methodologies and prototype tools to support the automation of different phases of design of advanced embedded systems. In particular, system-level design space exploration has been one of mainstream lines of research in the recent years. Funding for the POLIMI research work has been attracted from a number of research projects with the Italian National Research Council, the Italian Ministry for Research and Education, local industry and the European Union.

Design of Systems on Silicon
Founded in 1998, Design of Systems on Silicon S.A. (DS2), is the leading supplier of silicon and software for Powerline Communications (PLC) and the first company to develop and market PLC chipsets delivering data rates of up to 200 Mbps in the different market segments where it operates (access, in-building, in-home). The high-performance, highly versatile, low-cost chipsets are the chips of choice on the market for ultimate performance, feature-rich, low-cost PLC modems and consumer electronics appliances. DS2 technology sets global benchmarks in terms of performance and features and enhances the competitive advantages of broadband PLC, providing solutions for every segment of the network, from the most performance-demanding backhaul optical switch to the most cost-sensitive home networking PLC appliance. DS2 actively participates in regulatory developments around the world, promoting PLC technology and playing a key role in the standarisation and regulation of PLC worldwide, holding key positions in the working committees of IEEE, ETSI, CENELEC, CISPR, PLC Forum, etc. DS2 has an excellent reputation among its peers in the standards bodies, not only for its pro-active support to PLC but also for the quality of its contributions. The company currently employs over 130 highly qualified graduates and continues to invest in the innovation and design of chips and in the development of strategic partnerships with manufacturers to accelerate the implantation of this technology in both the PLC access and consumer electronics markets. Following this goal of excellence in innovation, DS2 actively support and participates in European and International cooperation programmes as IST and the different Eureka clusters (ITEA/ITEA2, MEDEA+). Since its creation in 1998, DS2 mission has been to become the leading supplier of IPR (silicon and software) for high speed Powerline Communications (PLC) for access (Low Voltage & Middle Voltage), access distribution and in-home markets. As a fabless silicon design house, DS2 is producing its own complete PLC SoC-based chipset, involving digital and analogue hardware together with highly complex software.

STMicroelectronics (Italy)
ST is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies, with net revenues of US$9.85 billion (EUR 7.92 billion) in 2006 and market leadership that is spread across many fields. According to the latest industry data, ST is the world's fifth largest semiconductor company. ST offers one of the world's broadest product ranges, with over 3,000 main types of products. The Company's sales are well balanced between the industry's five major high-growth sectors: Communications (38%), Consumer (16%), Computer (17%), Automotive (15%) and Industrial (14%). The group totals approximately 50,000 employees, 16 advanced research and development units, 39 design and application centers, 17 main manufacturing sites and 78 sales offices in 36 countries. In 2006, ST spent US$1.667 billion (EUR 1.34 billion) in R&D, which was some 16.9% of its 2006 revenues. That effort produced 607 patent applications in 2006. ST is also active in numerous collaborative research projects worldwide as well as playing a key role in Europe's advanced technology research programs (EUREKA clusters such as Medea+) and the IST Framework Programs. ST is also a leader in important forward-looking industry initiatives such as ETPs (European Technology Platforms) at the European level and the "Poles de Competitivité" (e.g. Minalogic near Grenoble and SCS in the Provence area) at the regional level. With regard to the ETPs, ST participates heavily in the ENIAC technology platform as a member of the Executive Board and Co-Chair of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) working group as well as being an active contributor to this important document. The ENIAC platform, which is dedicated to research and development in Nanoelectronics, is of particular relevance for the present project proposal. ST is also a "Founding Father" of the ENIAC Industrial Association ENEA. In addition, ST has received a number of Jean-Pierre Noblanc awards for their participation and leadership of MEDEA+ projects, in particular for "Pocket Multi-Media" that developed embedded processor solutions for content processing in mobile equipment. The Italian branch of ST Corporate System R&D will participate to this project.

IMEC vzw was founded in 1984 by the Flemish Government and is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. Currently, it is Europe?s leading independent research centre for the development and licensing of microelectronics and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). IMEC vzw is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence, which is illustrated by the large number of scientific papers that are yearly published, the numerous patent applications that have been submitted, and the several spin-off companies that have been set up. It has an annual budget of more than 100 million EUR and employs more than 1000 people. IMEC vzw performs scientific research that runs 3 to 10 years ahead of industrial needs. The research activities concentrate on design of integrated information and communication systems; silicon process technology; silicon technology and device integration; microsystems,components and packaging; and advanced training in microelectronics.

ESTECO was created in 1999 to transfer the knowledge acquired by its founders while working on an European Union sponsored project on Design Optimization (FRONTIER) into a successful commercial product. It took ESTECO almost two years to deliver on its promises, turning a research-stage product into a world-class, industrial-strength, multi-objective optimization platform: modeFRONTIER. Along the way, our initial staff of experts in optimization techniques, numerical analysis and information technology has been expanded to acquire new skills and to position ourselves as ideal partners for engineering companies interested in taking full advantage of their human and computational resources. Now ESTECO counts more than 20 employees. The Head Quarters of the company are located in AREA Science Park in Trieste, Italy.

ALaRI is the Advanced Learning and Research Institute established in 1999 at the University of Lugano (UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana), Switzerland, with the mission to promote research and education in Embedded Systems Design. Aware of the real need for a cross-disciplinary approach to education, ALARI equips the participants with a unique body of knowledge ranging from electronic engineering to computer sciences, including interpersonal skills, indispensable in today?s industry, such as team work, complex-project management, and market sensitivity. ALARI has been created as a joint initiative of a number of Universities, Research Centers and Companies; its collaboration list includes Universities such as EPFL, ETHZ, Politecnico di Milano, Humboldt University Berlin, Aachen University, CSEM (Switzerland), IMEC (Belgium), ST Microelectronics, Infineon, Intel, Microsoft, TXT e-solutions, Philips (Swiss laboratories), as well as a number of local SMEs. The main areas of the current research activities of ALARI are: Pervasive systems: co-design and optimization of pervasive systems; Security: design of optimized hardware cryptographic devices, Robustness analysis of cryptographic algorithms, design of hardware and software solutions robust to power analysis attacks; Low-power design for wireless systems: power modeling, estimation and optimization at protocol level for wireless solutions (focusing on Bluetooth and Zigbee); Networks-on-chips and multiprocessor systems: high-level services for on-chip communication (QoS, security, power management, etc.), multiprocessor reconfigurability.

University of Cantabria - Microelectronics Engineering Group
The University of Cantabria is the public University of the Autonomous Region of Cantabria, Spain. Created in 1972, today has over 12,000 students and over 1,250 research and teaching staff. The University of Cantabria is one of the most important Spanish research centers. The University was the third institution in Spain (after Telefˇnica and the Polytechnic University of Madrid) with a higher participation to the VI FP in IST. The contribution of the University to the MultiCube project will be carried out by the Microelectronics Engineering Group. The Group is part of the Department of Electronics Technology, Systems Engineering and Automatics (TEISA). Since its formation in 1982, the group has maintained a very active participation in R&D project in different national and international programs, as well as subcontractor of several companies, which have guided the research lines of the group. This has also permitted the creation and constant updating of the distinct R&D laboratories: microelectronics design, system design and verification, PCB design and implementation, which has enabled the increase in services offered. The Microelectronics Engineering Group is situated in the Industrial and Telecommunications Engineering School where the groups teaching activities are centred. The group is in charge of the electronic courses in the syllabuses of Telecommunications Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Informatics.

STMicrolectronics (China)
STMicrolectronics China was present in China as early as the 1980s. Today, ST has established a strong network of distributors and sales/liaison offices in all parts of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu to directly service its growing number of customers. ST set up its first assembly and test plant in the Futian Free-Trade Zone of Shenzhen, the plant is one of the best in the world with its state-of-the-art technology. The Shenzhen Microelectronics back-end facility assembles and tests a wide range of semiconductor components, including PowerMOS transistors, application-specific ICs and standard linear devices. It is today one of the largest assembly and test facilities in China. Moving ahead, ST has set up its Greater China headcounters in Shanghai?s Zizhu Science and Technology Park. In 2005, ST is ranked as number 3 for China semiconductor market share.

Institute of Computing Technology
The Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereafter ICT) was established in 1956. It was the first academic institution to specialize in comprehensive research into computer science and technology in China. ICT successfully produced China's first general-purpose digital computer, and has turned into a R&D base for high-performance computer technology in China. It is the place where China's first general-purpose CPU chip was born. ICT is the cradle for China's computer profession, having spun off many academic institutions and hi-tech companies. They include the Institute of Microelectronics, Computing Center, Institute of Software Computer Network Information Center, all of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as hi-tech companies such as Lenovo and Dawning. ICT is one of the first pilot institutes for the ?Knowledge Innovation Program? in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. ICT is now in the process of developing into a networked research institute, consisting of the headquarter in Beijing plus several branches in Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo, Dongguan and elsewhere.


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