ECONOMY

Greek institute pioneers cutting-edge EU chip technology

greek-institute-pioneers-cutting-edge-eu-chip-technology

‘Hello World!’ With this message, the first test chip of the European processor, known as EPAC 1.0, came alive.

The message appeared on the screen after the chip was put into operation at the end of September by researchers from the Institute of Informatics at the Institute of Technology and Research (FORTH) in Iraklio, Crete. 

“We received the chip from the factory abroad and then put it to the test, first to see if it starts and then to run programs on a computer system,” Dr. Vassilis Papaefstathiou, a researcher at the institute told Kathimerini. He explained that the European processor is one of the most emblematic projects of the European Union, in its effort to gain technological dominance and become independent of imports of such technologies from non-EU countries. 

“I am one of the key contributors of FORTH in the project and I coordinate technical contributions of FORTH in the field of hardware design and the first tests on the first chip of the project”, he explains. 

The life sign given by EPAC 1.0, the first result of the European processor project, came at a time when world trade has been shaken by a lack of processors, short-circuiting industries around the world and in Europe. Their lack, due to the pandemic crisis and the concentration of their production at the hands of a few industries in the US has made the European Processor Initiative consortium more relevant than ever. 

In this consortium, in which FORTH participates, 28 partners from 10 EU countries have taken part, among which research organizations, universities and companies, such as the French Atos, BMW etc.