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ARM University Programme


ARM technology has always had a strong following in academic circles due to its simplicity and elegance. In addition, GNU tools support for ARM has provided students with a very low cost way of trying out ARM technology on Linux and even Windows machines.

Bluewater Systems supports ARM's committment to academic use of the ARM architecture. We supply tools to academic institutions at cost, have sponsors students projects and employed students during holiday periods.

As universities around the world latch onto ARM technology, we are working to bring the same benefits of the ARM University Program to universities in Australia and New Zealand.

Education Kits

Bluewater Systems has funded the development of three education kits:

  • Unikit DIP at NZ$50 for class sets is a 66-pin DIP package with an ARM7TDMI-based micro. This is designed for placing into simple student carrier boards to provide a quick route to an ARM-based design. It can also be used stand-alone on the bench. It has since been superceded by a smaller unit which we can make available in class sets.
  • Unikit at NZ$180 was uClinux-based board with ethernet and 2MB RAM. This is designed for experimentation with Linux on ARM. This is now obsolete.
  • Snapper at NZ$1200 (with development board and software) is a high-end board for advanced projects, allowing complex hardware interfacing and sophisticated projects. It allows able students to develop fully functional devices such as a touchscreen computer, networked storage module and USB device.

University Connections

One of the original designers of the ARM, Steve Furber, has spent many years as a Professor at Manchester University working asynchronous design and other topics using ARM technology.

Robin Saxby, the CEO of ARM through its formative years, has been awarded an honourary degree by Loughborough University and ARM has supported that university to provide an example of what can be done with ARM technology in an university environment.

Tools and Projects

ARM provides up to a 90% discount on selected RealView tools for academic use under the ARM University Programme. This means that students need not suffer with inferior tools. ARM provides access to the same top-end tools used by engineers throughout the world, albeit not the very latest versions.

With RealView Development Suite, a student can write and debug C and assembler programmes in a friendly simulated environment on Unix and Windows machines. The RealView Microcontroller Development Kit offers the same function in a Windows-only environment, and even has simulation support for common peripherals. This is great for developing an understanding of serial communications.

Given a development board and ICE, the student can debug low-level code and interrupt routines, and interface an ARM chip to real hardware. Since many boards are available with useful and interesting peripherals built-in, students can device many exciting and educational projects using ARM technology.

Bluewater Systems

For ourselves, we see our role as making institutions aware of the benefits of ARM technology and providing information on how they can get started with the ARM University Programme. Please contact us for more information.