Students win top honors in this year’s VLSI Design Contest

June 17, 1999

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan students swept the top honors in the 1999 Student VLSI Design Contest, a competition for designing computer systems with Very Large Scale Integration. Now in its 19th year, the VLSI contest promotes excellence in education for integrated circuit designers at universities. It provides competition between students participating in classes and research who design and fabricate integrated circuits at the novice and experienced levels.
Four schools participated in this year’s VLSI competition: Iowa State University, Seattle University, U-M, and University of Virginia. Awards were presented in Ann Arbor at the U-M on U-M students Yan Zhang, Yifei Zhang, and Hongtao Jiang took first place in the experienced class with their project, “Digital Adaptive Predistortion Linearizer.” First place in the novice class went to U-M students Michael McCorquodale, Hector Torres, Trolan Ma, and Youngjoon Kim for their project “Programmable Commercial Band Stereo FM Transmitter.”
“We learned to work as a team and sense a flavor of what it is like working with industry-standard CAD tools in the real world,” said Trolan Ma.
Prizes went to (see for complete list with project titles):
Experienced Class

1st Place: University of Michigan (Y. Zhang, Y. Zhang, H. Jiang)
2nd Place: University of Michigan (J. Cieslak)
3rd Place: University of Michigan (H. Kulah)
Novice Class
1st Place: University of Michigan (M. McCorquodale, H. Torres, T. Ma, Y. Kim)
2nd Place: University of Michigan (C. Burke, B. Hess, Y. Waugh, M. Kuether, R. Smith)
3rd Place: University of Michigan (Y. Huang, Y. Zhu, L. Ding, Y. Li)
4th Place: University of Michigan (J. Budiman, L. Li, J.-C. Yeh, G.-F. Yuan)
4th Place: Seattle University (H. Abdelmagied, K. Jensen, K. Nagy, A. Ojerio)
This year’s sponsors were: Advanced Micro Devices, Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Evans & Sutherland, IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies, Mentor Graphics Corp., Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and the University of Michigan. Judges from AMD, Compaq, Lucent, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments determined the winners.
Jim Quarfoot, a contest judge and System Engineer at Texas Instruments, remarked that “this contest provides students with an outstanding opportunity to show how they can solve practical engineering problems. It makes them begin to think like engineers solving a system problem, rather than just a student doing homework. This is not just a VLSI design contest, it is an engineering practicum.”
U-M Prof. Rich Brown said that the winners of the VLSI Design Contest have been invited to present their projects as papers at next year’s meeting of the Design Automation Conference. “This will provide great exposure to the winning students, and will serve to further publicize the event to all students.” Micro DevicesRich Brown