New Imagination Technologies CIO to Lead IMG Labs

Article By : Nitin Dahad

Tim Mamtora, who just joined Imagination Technologies as CIO, will head up an in-house technology incubator tasked with developing breakthrough innovations and commercializing IP in various areas of advanced technology.

What do you do after spending 14 years in ASIC design? Tim Mamtora provides the answer. He’s just joined Imagination Technologies as chief innovation officer to head up an in-house technology incubator tasked with developing breakthrough innovations and commercializing intellectual property (IP) in various areas of advanced technology.

The new 60-strong IMG Labs is a specialist division whose mission is to understand and accelerate future trends in the semiconductor industry, translating these into new licensable technologies that will enable innovative products for Imagination’s partners. Based primarily at its Kings Langley, UK, headquarters, it will initially focus on artificial intelligence (AI), GPU, heterogeneous compute, and ray tracing.

Tim Mamtora - Imagination Technologies
Tim Mamtora

Asked why he joined Imagination, Mamtora highlighted the desire to make impact. He said, “Imagination has always been a symbol of great British innovation, yet in recent times the UK technology scene has suffered somewhat. The excitement for me is to be at the heart of a UK-headquartered company, delivering market-leading solutions for customers and leading teams of highly-skilled and innovative engineers who are passionate about what they do.”

He said heterogeneous compute is a key element of Imagination’s strategy going forward and a strong focus for IMG Labs. “Increasingly our customers want to accelerate a variety of workloads with flexible arrays of processors, all the while operating within challenging power and bandwidth budgets. With a rich portfolio of processor IP, and highly skilled research teams, Imagination is in a unique position to bring novel solutions to market and deliver clear system differentiation.”

Mamtora is the latest to join Imagination’s senior executive management team over the last 12 months, having spent over 14 years at Broadcom creating and managing technology development and has a decade of experience architecting and designing graphics processors. Mamtora is responsible for IMG Labs and directing innovation efforts across the company. Other senior members of the IMG Labs team include serial inventor Simon Fenney, research fellow, author or co-author of over 50 patents in the field of rendering hardware, texture and image compression, and mathematical operations, alongside industry heavyweights Clifford Gibson, VP GPU architecture; Steve Mackenzie, VP systems and SoC architecture; and Alex Pim, VP of AI research and architecture who leads on applied AI and high- performance computing.

Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research, said, “Imagination has a pedigree of delivering world-first, best-in-class technologies that have inspired the semiconductor and silicon engineering sectors. These advancements have been at the cornerstone of millions of critically important systems across myriad disciplines with thousands of partners. Those partners have produced revolutionary 3D GPU technology, and multi-award-winning neural network acceleration. The company has also been a leader in advanced automotive GPU IP. IMG Labs will enable Imagination to carry on with its pipeline of innovation while continuing to help their customers to differentiate.”

IMG Labs’ focus areas

A key part of IMG Labs is strategic technology research, a cross-functional horizon-scanning initiative to anticipate trends and identify disruptive innovations for more detailed investigation. Second-level research groups contextualize these trends, establishing how to harness the value of new technologies to meet future customer needs.

Focus areas are:

  • AI: Research and architectural staff within the AI teams will analyze industry verticals, collate customer requirements, and anticipate high-performance compute trends.
  • GPU: To address the demand for high frame rate, high-fidelity graphics across a variety of segments, IMG Labs will stretch what is possible through novel compression techniques, industry-leading functional safety and exceptional power and bandwidth efficiency.
  • Heterogeneous compute: With modern systems comprising numerous dedicated processors and supporting a plethora of workloads, IMG Labs will help customers take advantage of the compute power at their disposal while retaining the flexibility to meet ever-greater demands, enabling every ounce of performance to be extracted from its network of IP cores with optimal efficiency.
  • Neural network acceleration: An area of expertise at Imagination with 18 patents filed in relation to the IMG Series4 NNA, IMG Labs will look to push the IP envelope for machine learning. Whether this is for ADAS in the automotive industry, natural language processing and speech synthesis for data centers, or low-power, low-area, high-performance inferencing at the edge, it will drive patented solutions directly into Imagination’s engineering group for new product development.
  • Ray tracing: This is a technology in which Imagination has over 15 years of experience, and over 250 patents filed, making IMG Labs an idea partner to commercialize this technology in both mobile and desktop segments. In addition, Imagination’s Ray Tracing Levels System continues its thought-leadership position, educating the industry on the varying capabilities of the ray tracing offerings available in the market today.

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

Nitin Dahad is a correspondent for EE Times, EE Times Europe and also Editor-in-Chief of embedded.com. With 35 years in the electronics industry, he’s had many different roles: from engineer to journalist, and from entrepreneur to startup mentor and government advisor. He was part of the startup team that launched 32-bit microprocessor company ARC International in the US in the late 1990s and took it public, and co-founder of The Chilli, which influenced much of the tech startup scene in the early 2000s. He’s also worked with many of the big names – including National Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Marconi Instruments.

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