April 28, 2003
Critical Mass at U-M
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor

by Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

IMEC - “IMEC's Microelectronics Training Center (MTC) in Leuven, Belgium, offers a broad spectrum of courses covering a wide field of micro- and nanoelectronics, microsystems, and even related fields such as biotechnology. The courses vary from high-level design issues for ASICs and microsystems, to process and packaging technology, and target engineers, managers, technicians and operators. MTC is able to build on IMEC's experience in industrial training, as well as on the available know-how and infrastructure. IMEC's clean room, its deep-submicron pilot line, its measurement infrastructure, and its design labs are equipped with state-of-the-art EDA tools. There are
on fixed schedule and courses on demand. Often IMEC accepts residents for longer periods, for on-the-job-training in joint R&D activities. The MTC plays an important role by training teaching staff of high-schools, polytechnic schools, and universities.”

Icinergy Software Co. - “There is a somewhat limited amount of research going on in Canada in EDA. To assist in fostering more EDA research, we have been actively supporting our education system by way of the employment or participation of students. We have had through our short history, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students actively involved in the development of our software. Through contact with CMC (Canadian Microelectronic Corporation) and SMC (Strategic Microelectronics Council), we have been able to put forward joint proposals for Canadian research funds to work with people like Professor Zhu of the University of Toronto. [Please see below.] Working
Professor Zhu has the advantage of directing research that focuses on projects with a direct application to commercialization. Our product has been used at 5 different universities in Canada, and we are currently working on 3 different projects at 3 different universities.”

Forte Design Systems - “Forte established an informal university program in 2001. Since then, we have been working with interested universities to provide them with access to the latest technology in behavioral synthesis. Selected universities receive access to Forte's technology in exchange for feedback on the tools and methodology and design examples. In addition, we require publication of at least one technical paper within the calendar year. In 2003, we will be formalizing this program as we open it to more universities.”

CoWare Inc. - “CoWare has an active university program. The company's System Level Design and LISATek tools have academic roots, and the company has an ongoing relationship with and commitment to support education and research. CoWare has close partnerships with key universities around the world, with a high return on investment, which includes outstanding hires, advanced technology breakthroughs, and industry leadership. The CoWare Technical Advisory Board, with Stanford University and ISS members, provides ties to research teams. Japanese universities now patent university inventions prior to publication of academic papers, thereby acknowledging the importance of
academic research.
This research is shaping how customers develop their product roadmaps, and CoWare is always interested in working with key universities that support customers in Japan. Finally, CoWare has and continues to benefit from university ties. The company is currently expanding university offerings to include LISATek and SystemC solutions in all key markets.”

Celoxica - “The Celoxica University Program (CUP) was established in 1997 to encourage research and teaching using Celoxica products and technology for software-compiled system design and reconfigurable computing. Through the CUP, the full commercial DK Design Suite is delivered at minimum price levels and augmented by heavily discounted FPGA hardware platforms for teaching and research. The company's website provides an on-line knowledge base, courseware, source code IP downloads, and other materials to CUP members. Celoxica software-style methodology for hardware design allows students to produce interesting applications that can be implemented in real hardware.”

“The University of Essex (UK) has demonstrated that foundation hardware-software co-design skills can be acquired in 2 days by students with limited previous hardware background knowledge. At the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (UK), first-year students are able to produce complex FPGA designs such as image and graphics processing. And at the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai, part of their Distance Education Program is broadcast by satellite to a large number of registered Remote Centres, which are equipped with Celoxica's co-design simulation tools for use during student laboratory sessions. Celoxica was founded on technology originally from Oxford
University. As such, we view the CUP as one of our best strengths. CUP has over 700 active members around the world and the company uses this feedback to improve our products. Of course, support is a concern, as that many universities with undergrads could easily swamp a small company with support requests. We handle this by developing relationships with professors who use our products in research and course work. They in turn manage the support 'burden.' Celoxica benefits from the research and from the large installed base of DK-trained engineers coming out of academia.”

Axis Systems - “Axis Systems' University Program is focused on research groups in Asia/ Pacific, whose current research is developing improved verification flows. This regional concentration allows us to gain early penetration in a growing market. We provide RCC-based (Reconfigurable Computing) Xcite systems with support and training. Axis was originally approached by Dr. Allen Wu at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan because he had difficulty in acquiring software from other EDA companies who were worried about piracy. Since Axis' tools contains a hardware component, we are not as concerned with privacy. The Universities benefit from the use of the latest
technology, and we profit from the introduction of the RCC platform to the brightest engineering graduates, while earning their positive endorsement.”

Aptix Corp. - “Universities throughout the world are invited to participate in Aptix' University Program. Under this program, universities gain access to Aptix hardware and software products for use in teaching and non-commercial research projects. Key elements of the program include discounts on new hardware, occasional special pricing on used hardware, software at no charge, and special university rates on maintenance. To qualify, universities must have a sponsoring faculty member, use the equipment in teaching a course, publish a paper describing a research project in which the equipment was used, write a white paper or application note describing a novel use of the
or submit prototyping IP to the Aptix IP Library. Participating universities include Purdue, Morgan State, University of Munich, and Chengdu University.”

Ansoft Corp. - “Our Student Version (SV) program has about 50 schools with have over 200 copies of our software installed, or in use for course work. This number doesn't include the 100s of other schools that have 25 to 50 copies of our software installed. Ansoft has donated multiple copies of software to Virginia Polytechnic University in exchange for sponsorship in the CPES Consortium (Center for Power Electronics Systems). We have donated multiple copies of software to Portland State University in exchange for sponsorship in the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS), and have also donated software to IIT in exchange for sponsorship of the Illinois Institute of
2003 International Fuel Energy Challenge Team. We provide sponsorship of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center where HFSS has become an important part of their tool suite for the design of 60 GHz CMOS and Ultra-Wideband design work. Finally, Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology has been quoted as saying that all the Ansoft tools have very good user interfaces and examples to help students and teachers get started. These additional capabilities provide very good scope for research.”

Alternative System Concepts, Inc. (ASC) - “ASC has had excellent experience with universities as EDA business partners. Our two-pronged partnerships include employment and subcontract research. In appreciation, we repay universities through the ASC University Grant Program, which provides our tools for use in educational research. There is no charge for the license; the only charge is for annual maintenance. ASC employs student interns during the summer and extended class breaks. Cooperating universities include MIT, Tufts, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, University of New Hampshire, and Arizona. We typically assign undergraduates to new development tasks, where
can work at their own pace with their own creative talents. We treat them as part of the team and instill in them a sense of mutual trust. The biggest problem with student interns is inadequate documentation. Students, besides being bright and ambitious with a good work ethic, are uncorrupted by industry influences. The other partnership with universities is through research. The DoD Small Business Innovation Research program allows ASC to compete for contracts and grants as a small business, and subcontract research to a university. Much of the EDA technology that forms the basis for ASC design tools was developed jointly by ASC and major universities, including
Princeton, Polytechnic, UMASS, Northeastern, Virginia, and New Hampshire.”

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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.

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