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The first “China IC and EDA Design Elite Competition” started in June 2019 and received high attention and support from many universities. In total, there were 104 teams from 41 universities including Tsinghua University, Peking University, Xidian University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University, and Southeast University, to name a few. Of the all the teams, 69% of the participants were graduate students! There were 56 teams and 148 students that successfully advanced to the National Finals.
In order to promote the cultivation of EDA talents in China, Cadence was one of the co-organizers of this competition. Cadence not only chaired a competition topic, but was also involved in the overall preparation of the competition. Cadence employees from the Digital & Signoff Group (DSG) were very involved in a variety of ways; they designed the chaired topic, participated on the contest committee as judges, provided technical support to the organizer, and also answered students’ questions. Cadence also provided digital tools for free to support the contest.
The problem presented by Cadence was "Complex Hierarchical Digital Design Implementation & Scripting". This problem required the participants to use the Innovus Implementation System and Genus Synthesis Solutions to implement a hierarchical design (RTL->GDSII) and use complex tcl script to do advanced timing analysis and eco. The solutions were graded, 70% on the technical score (including completion, innovation and application) plus 30% on the on-site defense performance. This truly tested the professional skills and comprehension capabilities of the participating students.
Based on the registration, Cadence’s chaired competition topic was extremely popular and attracted many participating students. Of the 56 teams that advanced to the final, there were 22 teams, 59 students from 12 universities, that were successfully selected as winners, which was almost half of the total number of participating teams.
At the EDA Forum, Cadence gave a speech entitled "Intelligent System Design and Artificial Intelligence in Cadence.” Supporting this EDA competition leads to a new generation of talent excited to join the domestic and global EDA industry. It also helps Cadence to continuously increase the collaborations between academia and industry in China.
Through this fruitful competition, Cadence had the opportunity to connect with faculty and students, strengthened two-way communication with universities, and learned about current research directions by academia in EDA. We look forward to supporting the EDA competition next year and the years to follow!