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From 15-17 May CDNLive EMEA opened again its doors for around 700 attendees from all over Europe, who want to know more about the new products from Cadence. For the 10th time Cadence Academic Network has organized an Academic Track, which definitely was a reason to celebrate! For the last two years Academic Track concept has been exported to CDNLive Silicon Valley, but only in EMEA all submitted papers are reviewed by a Program Committee, which consists of Lead Institution professors, the two Program Chairs are working on an agenda and the General Chair (me) takes care for smooth organization and execution. As every year the criteria for the selection of the papers for the Academic Track are the same: the papers from academia must either describe innovative teaching concepts, new design flows developed at universities or cutting-edge research, which is too advanced or exotic to be presented in a regular technical track. From submitted 22 papers the program committee has selected 10 to be presented in Academic Track and 2 to be presented as poster.
Traditionally the Academic Track starts with presentation from Europractice about the latest software package, which is available from them. Our common aim is to provide latest software to academia, but we don’t want to sacrifice user experience, so if the software is not considered as stable, the choice is for the stable and not the latest version.
Every other year the networks grows and expands and covers new topics. Our latest Lead Institution is Leibniz University of Hanover, where the Head of Institute of Microelectronic Systems, Professor Holger Blume became responsible for the propagation of the Tensilica technology. The readers of this blog might already know Professor Blume, as he is the organizer of the Tensilica Days, so declaring him a Lead Institution only tightens the connection between Leibniz University and Cadence. It is a tradition that the new Lead Institution introduces themselves, this has been done in the Academic Track.
There’ve been several highlights among presented papers, Paul blogged about HTL-Rankweil, I would like to mention SKILL Application Manager (SAM) – Simplify Your Software Development in Virtuoso, presented by Florian Leber from Robert-Bosch-Zentrum in Reutlingen, which is a research center funded by Bosch. Florian is an old fellow, he did an internship at Cadence in 2014 and for this presentation he got the Academic Best Paper Award, which is well deserved. The idea here is to manage all the SKILL scripts, which a power user may have collected through the years in a user-friendly GUI, but it is also a development environment for SKILL, which students at RBZ are using for practical programming courses.
Another very practical tool has been developed at Institute for Microelectronic and Mechatronic Systems (IMMS) in Ilmenau. Until now only experienced designers of AMS circuits could estimate which influence a certain parasitic element has on the overall performance of a given circuit. Georg Gläser from IMMS has developed a tool, which removes elements from parasitic netlist and resimulates the circuit to determine, which parasitics have the most influence on the performance. A perfect tool for students who must learn how to achieve the spec and where optimization is most effective.
The second day started with a panel discussion on the topic “From Academic Idea to Commercial IP”. The participants from startups (ExToll, RacyIC), Head of the software part of Europractice Dr. John McLean and representative from Cadence sales department Ivana Šola have discussed various commercialization models, how the grey zone of using academic licenses for commercial projects can be handled in a legally correct way. The main message of the panel was that so far Cadence has found a solution for every case, so don’t hesitate and contact us, we will discuss about your case and there is always a way to go along.
Cadence Academic Network has organized two contests this year, the Tensilica Design Contest, which has already finished and the MEMS Design Contest, still ongoing. In order to give the contest participants the possibility to present themselves and their solutions and ideas, the poster session took place in the afternoon of day 2. Congratulations to the winning team in Tensilica Design Contest, University of Santa Maria in Brazil and the Ruhr-Uni-Bochum as second winner and good luck to King Abdullah University for Science and Technology in participation in MEMS Design Contest.
The final presentation of day 2 was about the RESCUE project, an European Training Network, where young researchers are encouraged to do their PhD studies on Reliability, Security and Quality in Nanoelectronic Systems Design in an university or company, which are part of the consortium. The recruitment phase is ongoing, Cadence is looking for two researchers.
CDNLive is the only conference, where people are dancing! And they have all the reason for that, the prizes for winning the Tensilica Design Contest are more than just appealing.
In the last two years I made an observation that more and more professors start to understand the importance of verification and the demand for qualified verification engineers on job market, therefore there are requests for high quality teaching materials and know-how exchange on best practices, how to teach verification. This has been addressed by the Teaching Advanced Verification in Academia workshop, which was organized by the Lead Institutions for Verification, namely University of Heidelberg and Bristol university. After basic explanation of most important terminology in verification by Dr. Niels Burkhardt from Heidelberg University, Dr. Kerstin Eder from Bristol university shared best practices for teaching “e” language. The remaining hour was dedicated to the discussion how Cadence Academic Network can support professors providing verification courses.
10 years Academic Network is something to be proud of. But what is the future of the Network? This question became the motto for a BarCamp event with participation of Lead Institution professors and Academic Network team. Several concepts have been discussed and many ideas will surely find their way into the daily business of the Academic Network.
Stay tuned for videos, proceedings and further reports!