AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the first AMD Fusion Center of Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to focus on the innovative developer environment and software performance advancements enabled by heterogeneous computing. The center will fund, mentor and promote new commercial enterprises emerging from the vast intellectual property and research expertise in the University of Illinois community. The University has been a hotbed of new start-ups since the creation of the first widespread web browser - Mosaic - developed by Marc Andreessen in 1992. Through access to AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) technology and platforms, the AMD Fusion Center of Innovation will help bridge access to new AMD heterogeneous computing technology with the innovative spirit stimulated and nurtured on campus.
To kick-off the AMD Fusion Center of Innovation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a course aimed at kindling the spirit of entrepreneurship by bringing a mix of expert speakers to cover the specifics of AMD heterogeneous computing technology, while also providing invaluable, how-to background on entrepreneurship, commercialization and start-up creation. This course will be offered by the university's College of Engineering, Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC), as "ENG/TE 360/460: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship AMD section."
At the completion of the course, students will submit projects, which will be evaluated for potential funding opportunities through the AMD Fusion Fund and IllinoisVENTURES. Computer science and engineering students are encouraged to share their best ideas for new software or web-based start-up companies.
"Through their involvement with the Technology Entrepreneur Center, companies like AMD are helping to further develop the Illinois entrepreneurship ecosystem here in the Midwest," said Andrew Singer, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director, Technology Entrepreneur Center, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Offering the latest, innovative computing hardware and software technologies and bringing them into the classroom, where students can apply their ideas and form new ventures will be a great advantage for the generation of new innovative ideas that can be commercialized through the AMD Fusion Center of Innovation."
Rob Schultz, senior director of IllinoisVENTURES and a partner of the Illinois Emerging Technologies Fund said, "We are encouraging the university community to think big about what's possible through software and web services by focusing on the creative aspects. The AMD Fusion Center of Innovation will provide a spark for new software and web ideas as students receive hands-on access to AMD APU technology and learn how-to enable richer, user experiences using heterogeneous computing."
AMD APU technology combines a multi-core CPU and discrete-level GPU and other hardware accelerators on a single power-efficient chip enabling user interface innovation, vivid HD entertainment and content creation, blazing-fast Internet browsing and accelerated media applications. Consumers can enjoy rich, smooth performance, skip-free HD playback and discover impressive speed and performance in everyday applications on their PC when using AMD APU technology.
"The AMD Fusion Center of Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides the perfect environment of academia and software development," said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, AMD Fusion Experience Program. "We believe heterogeneous computing will be the enabler for innovative user interfaces and immersive computing experiences, which will ultimately be driven by aspiring and audacious students. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as a model for future AMD Fusion Centers of Innovation around the world."