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From 7-9.05 the CDNLive circus made it stop in Munich / Germany for full three days. For Academic Network in EMEA this is the most important event through the year, as we are organizing the Academic Track and invite our academic partners to attend, participate and discuss with us current trends and future developments. Call for Papers has started in December and we’ve received 18 papers, 10 of them have been presented at Academic Track, 6 went to be presented at technical tracks and only 2 have been rejected for formal reasons.
The track started traditionally with the presentation from Europractice, where Bryony Howards and Dr. John McLean, the Head of Europractice, have emphasized again the value of Cadence iLS courses, which are available to academia. Thousands of academics have accomplished the courses and some professors made the courses mandatory for their students, before they can register for the lecture!
The room in Infinity Hotel reserved for Academic Track is already quite large, but it quickly has reached its capacity, when Yannick Uhlmann from Reutlingen University did a presentation about the graphical SKILL development tool, based on Eclipse. It is not a UI-designer or a tool for graphical PCell creation, it is an intelligent assistant for creation of SKILL scripts, for people, who are not coding SKILL every day, but still want to do something in SKILL here and then. Often used SKILL routines have been encapsulated into DSL (Domain Specific Language) commands and these commands have a coloured representation and form boxes inside the editor, where only certain boxes fit with other boxes (think Jigsaw or LEGO). This way it is much faster to code and lot of syntactical errors can be prevented. The only question from the audience was: When can we get access to it? Cadence Academic Network has decided to provide Best Master Thesis Award to Yannick for his efforts. We would like to establish a tradition of providing Best Master Thesis Awards, so watch out for our Call for Thesis end of this year!
We’ve shown our presence in the exhibition area as well! Ruhr University Bochum has brought an Industry 4.0 demonstrator, which illustrates the digital twin concept. There is a real demonstrator, but also a digital implementation of it, presented with HoloLens. The user can virtually switch on and off different parts of the demonstrator just by waiving his hands and the best part of it is that using Cadence Virtual System Platform VSP it is possible to add virtual parts of the demonstrator and simulate their behavior. More on the demonstrator can be found here.
The second day started with a panel discussion with the provoking title: “Academic Startup. No Money. Need Cadence License. What to do?” The panelists were two startup founders, Prof. Joachim Rodrigues from Xenergic and Dr. Timothy De Keulenaer from BiFAST, also Prof. John McLean and Paolo Pezzati from System Design Enablement team at Cadence. Together with Europractice Cadence has developed a First-Use-By-Startup process, how preseed startups can get access to Cadence licenses, with low costs, but also with some restrictions. Also it is possible that an incubator company gets an environment from Cadence and can let startups, it incubates into this environment. More on this in following posts.
2016 Cadence, Coventor, X-FAB and Reutlingen University have announced a worldwide MEMS Design Contest, where X-FAB is providing the XMB10 PDK for MEMS creation and Coventor and Cadence are providing the tools. After one year of designing and thoroughly judgement process, the winners of the contest have been announced!
Originally only the winning design should be fabricated at X-FAB, but the X-FAB VP for MEMS Volker Herbig made the “One more thing” announcement, that all winning designs will be fabricated! Watch out for more announcements, once the designs came back from the fab!
Cadence Academic Network celebrates its 10th anniversary, so we decided to start a video challenge, where the universities all around the world should tell us, how they are using Cadence software and how they would like to spend three days, if a Cadence expert would visit them. Three best videos in EMEA came from:
The track was concluded with a workshop from Prof. Borivoje Nikolic from Berkeley University, where he was presenting the audience the agile way of hardware development, in opposite to the waterfall model, we had so far. Berkeley has only few EE-students, but plenty of CS-students, who know how to code, so the professors tried to make hardware design as programmer-friendly as possible. The outcome of these efforts were Chisel, FIRRTL and Berkeley Analog Generator.
The third day is traditionally used for techtorials, which were dedicated to analog backend. Reutlingen University has demonstrated their experience with PCellDesigner, KTH from Sweden showed how they are using MODGENs in order to show students modern way of analog design and Dr. Claudia Rösch from Cadence has presented the ongoing work on a RFIC design flow for 122GHz radar applications.
The highlights video is in the link below: