Siemens Empowers Outstanding Talents in IC Industry

Written by Jieyu Li, reviewed by Jin Xiang

The Nation College Student Chip Design Summer School promotes the integration of talent training in universities and the development of integrated circuit (IC) industry, it is organized by Nanjing Integrated Circuit Training Base, Peking University, Southeast University, and Siemens Digital Industries Software along with other major industry companies include UNISOC and SemiDrive.

Courses in the summer school cover both front-end and back-end IC design flows. These courses also have a variety of forms, including workshops, seminars, and practical trainings. During the summer school, more than 150 students from more than 30 universities across China exchanged ideas with university scholars, technical experts, and leading enterprises.

The summer school also provides technique support for the National College Student Embedded Chip and System Design Competition to cultivate talents with practical ability of IC design through the combination of training and competition.

Siemens’ Workshops from Front-end to Back-end IC Design Flows

Siemens provides high-quality workshops to students in the summer school. These include:

  • Register Transfer Level (RTL) quality improvement scheme and the usage of QuestaSim
  • High Level Synthesis (HLS) Design Methodology
  • Tessent Design for Testability (DFT) Implementation
  • Calibre Platform for Physical Verification during Sign-off

During these workshops, four excellent subject-matter experts from Siemens shared their professional knowledges and introduced their industry experience.

RTL quality improvement scheme and the usage of QuestaSim workshop delivered by Kara Liu

RTL quality improvement scheme and the usage of QuestaSim workshop delivered by Kara Liu.

In the RTL course, Kara Liu introduced the basic flow and debug methods of the QuestaSim emulator. Also, Kara Liu introduced how to use Autocheck, a user-friendly formal verification tool, to improve the quality of RTL codes.

HLS Design Methodology workshop delivered by Yaqi Sun

HLS Design Methodology workshop delivered by Yaqi Sun.

In the HLS course, Yaqi Sun taught students about the basic concepts, workflow, and design methodology, as well as the advantages of using HLS. To help students better understand the design flows, Siemens also provided a variety of application reference designs.

Tessent DFT Design and Implementation workshop delivered by Haiyan Ouyang.

Tessent DFT Design and Implementation workshop delivered by Haiyan Ouyang.

In the DFT course, Haiyan Ouyang focused on the basics of memory build-in-self test (MBIST) and scan chain, as well as the flat DFT flow. During this workshop, students gained a comprehensive understanding of the integrated testing solutions for the digital logic, memory, IO pad, analog device, etc.

Calibre Platform for Physical Verification during Sign-off workshop delivered by Jingzhi Jiang.

Calibre Platform for Physical Verification during Sign-off workshop delivered by Jingzhi Jiang.

In the Calibre course, Jingzhi Jiang provided an introduction to all products and functions of the Calibre platform. Students learned how to use design rule check (DRC) and Layout Versus Schematics (LVS) functions efficiently, and how to use Calibre to fix violations quickly.

Enthusiastic Response from Students and Professors

The various courses from industry gained enthusiastic response from both students and professors. Many teachers in the summer school are from the front line of enterprises, whose knowledge can complement what students learn in the universities. As a proof of students’ achievements, Siemens issued a digital badge to each student who completed the workshops. This makes students’ skills visible and verifiable, further inspiring their passion for learning.

Digital Badge for EDA Summer School Attendees

Digital Badge for EDA Summer School Attendees

For the students, the most concerned topic is how to convert the theoretical knowledge learned in the university into the capability required in the industry. “Open the computer, sign in the account, then you have access to well-known enterprise EDA tools for practice. It is really shocking and exciting for many students.”, said Qiao Shen, who attended the summer school for the second year. This year, she also served as a teaching assistant. Based on the follow-up of the previous outstanding students in last year’s summer school, we have found that they have successfully joined the relevant technical departments of leading enterprises.

The summer school has also been highly praised by professors from universities. Most universities are more inclined to theory in their teaching, and what students lack most in their transition from school to social identity is practical experience. The summer school is just featuring “learning by doing” to change this situation. Bonan Yan, professor from Peking University, said, “In fact, there is a big gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. I think the organization of summer school can make up for this gap to a certain extent.” Bo Liu, professor from Southeast University, said, “Through this summer school, students learn what enterprises are doing and what problems enterprises encounter, so that they can bring the problems to their own research, which means they will solve meaningful problems needed by the industry in their later studying.”

Future Prospects

Siemens will continue to empower education through relevant course and talent training, aiming to supplement the talent training of universities and connect the talent team of universities with the demand of industry. The organizer of the summer school thanked Siemens for the long-term support for talent training in the IC industry, and continue to be optimistic about the joint construction and sharing of talent cultivation ecology in the industry by both parties.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/academic/siemens-empowers-outstanding-talents-in-ic-industry/