SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Think commercial EDA development schedules are tough? At the fifth annual CADathlon at the recent International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD), teams of students had just one day to solve selected problems by developing EDA software.
The CADathlon, sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA), challenges students in their CAD knowledge, problem solving, programming, and teamwork skills. In the contest, students are given a number of problems that range in difficulty and topics.
The students are given information about the CAD areas, relevant papers, and a software Linux framework a week before the competition. This year's competition ran Sunday, Nov. 5, the day before ICCAD opened. Students work in teams of two, and are judged on the basis of correctness and efficiency.
IBM's Geert Janssen, an organizer of this year's CADathlon, said that students this year worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and developed software tools for formal verification, logic synthesis, error-correcting codes, Steiner tree heuristics, circuit timing analysis, and clock skew optimization. These tools were then evaluated by running them on test cases prepared by organizers of the competition, and a maximum of 48 points was awarded.
CADathlon winners Donald Chai (left) and Satrajit Chatterjee
The winners of the competition were Donald Chai and Satrajit Chatterjee, PhD students at the University of California at Berkeley. They earned 47 points. The second place team, George Viamontes and Kai-Hui Chang from the University of Michigan, earned 44 points.
Janssen noted that an honorable mention was given to Andrey Mokhov, a student from Newcastle upon Tyne in England, who scored a total of 42 points on his own. Mokhov worked alone because his partner was unable to attend.