Friday, October 10, 2014

ECE & CS Students Demonstrate the "Need for Speed"

First place team mates Sameer Ghewari, and Sanket Borhade pose with education and industry leaders.
On September 22nd five student teams from the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University (PSU) competed in the inaugural PSU Veloce Emulation Competition held at the Mentor Graphics Wilsonville Campus. The competition was conceived of as a joint effort by Mentor Graphics and the PSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to encourage more students to explore hardware emulation by presenting them with industry-level engineering challenges.

The competition’s theme, the “Need for Speed,” underscores growing demand for sophisticated testing hardware and design verification talent. Complex designs can take hours or even weeks to adequately test. Emulation tools, such as the Mentor Graphics Veloce, are capable of dramatically accelerating this process allowing for more thorough verification before production. This results in higher quality products and faster time to market.

A total of $9,000 in prize money for the top three teams was funded by an anonymous donor. Five thousand dollars in prize money was awarded to the first-place team, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place. Four of the teams were comprised of electrical and computer engineering students. The third place finshers are each computer science majors. Team members and their projects are as follows:
  • Joseph Kerth, “Synthesizing a SystemVerilog Testbench on Veloce for Accelerated Verification”
  • Kai Cong, Li Lei, and Zhekun Yang, “OpenRISC System-On-Chip Emulation" (3rd place)
  • Andrei Kniazev, Tejaswini Angal, Prianka Hanwate, “MIPS 5-stage Pipelined Processor Design with Forwarding”
  • Sameer Ghewari, and Sanket Borhade “Design & verification of 8x8 Time-Space Crossbar switch with 8b10b SerDes” (1st place)
  • Steven Bellock, “Computation of Jacobsthal’s Function Hardware Accelerator” – a demonstration of using of the Veloce Emulator to illuminate theoretical mathematics (2nd place)
In attendance were representatives from industry leaders Intel, Cavium, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies, SemiWiki and Mentor Graphics.

“This was an outstanding inaugural event for our students and industry,” said Dr. James McNames, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department. “The companies present, including Mentor Graphics, Qualcomm, and Xpliant (Cavium), and Intel were impressed with the quality of the projects by our students. There is clearly a large need for more engineers with these skills, and we’re proud to be building a strong program in design verification to meet this need.”

PSU Professors Mark Faust and Fei Xie served as mentors to the student teams. Tom Schubert recently joined PSU’s electrical and computer engineering faculty from Intel to build a nationally recognized design verification program.
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