On April 9th, 2002, first samples of a prototype Imagine
stream processor were received at Stanford. A wafer
containing 93 Imagine die is shown to the left. (Click on the
picture for a larger view).
The Imagine stream processor is a 16mm x 16mm, 21 million
implemented by a collaboration between Stanford Unversity and Texas
Instruments (TI) in a 1.5V 0.15 micron process with
five layers of aluminum metal. Stanford designed the
architecture, logic, and did the floorplanning and cell placement.
TI completed the layout and layout verification.
Building a prototype Imagine processor contributed in three key
ways to the overall project. First, many things were learned about
the stream architecture by implementing Imagine in VLSI.
Second, having prototype processors available enables real-time
application and tool development which is not possible on hardware
Finally, building a prototype Imagine provides a proof-of-concept
to the VLSI feasibility of the processor and allows architectural
studies to be based on results from actual silicon.