URBANA — Advanced Micro Devices has chosen the University of Illinois to be the site of the company's first AMD Fusion Center of Innovation.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm said Tuesday that the center will "fund, mentor and promote" commercial enterprises that emerge from research on campus.
To begin the relationship, the UI's Technology Entrepreneur Center will offer a course on engineering entrepreneurship that will expose students to AMD's "heterogenous computing" technology.
At the end of the course, students will submit projects to be evaluated for possible funding through the AMD Fusion Fund and IllinoisVentures, a UI-affiliated technology investment firm.
Those two funding sources, along with Serra Ventures, have already co-invested in Nuvixa. a company co-founded by Sanjay Patel, a UI associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Nuvixa hopes to revolutionize video conferencing through its new technology.
Rob Schultz, senior director of IllinoisVentures, said the AMD Fusion Center should "provide a spark for new software and web ideas as students receive hands-on access to AMD's APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) technology."
Ideally, the students would learn how to use heterogeneous computing to provide "richer user experiences," he said.
Heterogenous computing refers to systems that use different types of computational units — say, general-purpose processors and specific-purpose processors — to improve performance.
Andrew Singer, director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center, said bringing new computing hardware and software technologies to the classroom will be "a great advantage" in generating ideas that can be commercialized.
Manju Hegde, corporate vice president for the AMD Fusion Experience Program, said the UI center "will serve as a model for future AMD Fusion Centers of Innovation around the world."