6 April 2014

Intel Donates HKD 14 million Worth of Development Tools to CUHK to Cultivate Embedded Systems Talents



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is pleased to receive from Intel Corporation, the world's largest multinational semiconductor chip maker, a generous donation of a batch of advanced embedded controller development boards and associated software licenses worth HK$14 million.  To take forward the collaboration between CUHK and Intel on nurturing embedded systems talents who are in high demand around the world, the 'Intel Embedded Systems Research Center' at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of CUHK has been established.  The collaboration will further strengthen CUHK's education and applied research on embedded systems, and inspire students' innovations and interest in technology development.  A Plaque Presentation Ceremony of 'Intel Embedded Systems Research Center' was held at CUHK, officiated by Prof. Pak Chung CHING, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Electronic Engineering of CUHK, and Ms. JoZell JOHNSON, Global Higher Education Director, Intel Corporation. 

Embedded systems are 'embedded in' our everyday life.  They are used to control the operations of numerous electronic applications from mobile phones, traffic lights, electric vehicles to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems.  An embedded system contains chips with in-built software to perform particular functions.  Unlike personal computers that can be programmed to perform general tasks, embedded systems are built inside various installations to control the execution of specific tasks.  They must be able to run continuously with high reliability and ability to restore itself.  Therefore, engineers of embedded systems need to be very stringent to ensure that the systems are precise and reliable with minimal size and cost. 

The 'Intel Embedded Systems Research Center' is led by Prof Terrence MAK Sui Tung, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, CUHK.  Students who enroll the course 'Embedded Systems Development and Applications' offered by the Faculty of Engineering will have the chance to use Intel's Atom board and Galileo board available in the Center to explore innovative applications of embedded systems. 

Professor Pak Chung CHING said, 'CUHK has always been working closely with the industry so that our research results and students can keep pace with latest development. Innovative electronic products with embedded systems are widely adopted in our daily lives, and demand for high-quality embedded systems engineers has been increasing.  We are glad to collaborate with Intel, the global leader in semiconductors and microcontrollers, to nurture talents to stride forward in technology innovations.'

Ms. JoZell JOHNSON remarked, 'Equipping the next generation with the technology and entrepreneurial know-how to improve the world they live in—that's what the Intel Higher Education effort is all about. CUHK students have an impressive record of very outstanding results in Intel Cup*. We are glad to join hands with CUHK to nurture more brilliant winners and innovative talents. On top of the donation, Intel and CUHK will explore further collaboration in curriculum development, joint research, talents cultivation, mentorship, internship and students competitions, etc.' 

CUHK research projects on embedded systems 

'Quadcoptor' is a final year project of a CUHK undergraduate student.  He adopted embedded systems in multi-aircraft controlling, for applications such as inter-communication and maneuverability.  Each quadcoptor will carry one device with a specific task, such as video shooting, measuring temperatures, wind speed or pollutants, etc.  A squad of quadcoptors can be controlled by one panel to execute different tasks real-time.  The data collected from each quadcoptor will be sent to the control panel for analysis.  It can be used for monitoring environment, investigation or rescue operations. 

Professor MAK is working on a biomedical project 'Neural Recording Machine' with the use of embedded systems. The Neural Recording Machine is able to observe the damage or degeneration of the nervous system caused by various diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson's and other movement disorders which usually require obtaining a large amount of brain neural signal for analysis.  Professor Mak tries to improve spike sorting algorithms, and develop a multi-channel signal processing and neural excitation system that can instantly detect and deal with huge volume of brain data in real-time. 

* NOTE:

The Intel Cup Embedded System Design Contest ('Intel Cup Undergraduate Electronic Design Contest - Embedded System Design Invitational Contest') is a biennial international science and technology competition initiated by the Higher Education Department of Chinese Ministry of Education together with Personnel and Education Department of Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and is solely sponsored by Intel Corporation since 2002.  It aims at fostering innovative thinking and practical skills amongst undergraduate students.  In 2012, 160 teams participated in the contest, comprising students from 76 institutions of 12 countries and regions, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Mexico, Costa Rico, Argentina, Brazil, USA, and Russia. 

CUHK students have impressive achievements in Intel Cup over the years:
2012 – Championship & First Class Award
2010 – First Class Award
2006 – Championship & First Class Award
2004 – Second Class Award (The first time that CUHK participated in)

Prof. Kam-fai Wong, Acting Dean of Engineering, CUHK (left) receives the plaque of ‘Intel Embedded Systems Research Center’ from Ms. JoZell Johnson, Global Higher Education Director, Intel Corporation.
Prof. Kam-fai Wong, Acting Dean of Engineering, CUHK (left) receives the plaque of ‘Intel Embedded Systems Research Center’ from Ms. JoZell Johnson, Global Higher Education Director, Intel Corporation.

Prof. Pak-chung Ching, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Electronic Engineering of CUHK (4th left) presents a souvenir to Ms. JoZell Johnson (5th left).
Prof. Pak-chung Ching, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Electronic Engineering of CUHK (4th left) presents a souvenir to Ms. JoZell Johnson (5th left).

A group photo of the delegation of Intel Corporation and CUHK members.
A group photo of the delegation of Intel Corporation and CUHK members.

Prof Terrence MAK Sui Tung, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, CUHK (front) and his students introduce the embedded systems and related research projects.
Prof Terrence MAK Sui Tung, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, CUHK (front) and his students introduce the embedded systems and related research projects.