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Countries which were founded after the collapse of Yugoslavia have long tradition in microelectronics. Due to import limitation during the time of Iron Curtain, Yugoslavians had to be inventive. As a bloc-free country they still had access to Western lecturers, but some microelectronic parts and computers had to be produced in the country. So several computer models were designed and produced. Most famous was the DIY computer Galaksija, which was used in schools for teaching kids programming in 1984!
During the Yugoslavian war, a lot of talented microelectronics engineers left the country and some of them came to Cadence, so we have a small but vital ex-Yugoslavian community in our company.
After visiting and presenting at the DDECS conference last year in Belgrade, we at Cadence Academic Network decided to organize a workshop in one of the countries to bring universities from the region together, see on which topics they work, and tell them about the offerings of Academic Network. Tomislav Matić from Osijek University kindly offered to organize the workshop and spread the news around to the other universities in the region. Here I must acknowledge the effort and generosity of microelectronics department: there was no conference fee, while lunch and even the dormitories were for free!
The first day of the workshop was dedicated to Cadence. We introduced how to do digital P&R in Virtuoso in a hands-on training. The second day was handled by German foundry IHP, where they introduced their PDK and talked about ultra-wide band receivers, which was a special request from the audience. Tomislav also delivered a presentation about the microelectronics research at Osijek University.
As a result, we had twenty representatives from six universities from three countries (Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia) and also from industry. Interest was great, though not everyone has used Cadence software so far, so some of the lectures and exercises were too advanced. But the first step has been done, so Academic Network showed its presence in the Balkan region.