Hsinchu, Taiwan R.O.C., Jan. 20, 2020 – TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced that after four months and two rounds of competition, a team from Yuan Ze University took first place in the first TSMC IC Layout Contest to win a cash prize of NT$200,000. TSMC launched its first IC Layout Contest to encourage Taiwan university students to join the field of IC layout, and gained an enthusiastic response from institutions across the country, attracting young talent to the semiconductor industry and providing valuable real-world knowledge to the next generation of engineers and scholars that will drive IC innovation in the future.
A total of 1,000 applicants and 150 advising professors from 35 Taiwan universities signed up for the competition. By teaming up with Open Innovation Platform® Cloud Alliance members Cadence and Microsoft to hold the contest on TSMC’s Virtual Design Environment (VDE), TSMC was able to host four months of competition without limitations from location or university IT facilities. Besides providing contestants from around Taiwan with seven hours of online training courses, TSMC made the VDE available to students for 12 weeks for hands-on practice. In addition, TSMC held three training seminars in North, Central, and South Taiwan, offering opportunities to learn about innovations in IC layout in advanced processes from experts in the field, and further aligning classroom knowledge with industry needs. A total of 500 contestants formed 250 teams of two members, and 17 teams were selected as finalists in the preliminary round of competition. Finalists were invited to further intensive training at TSMC’s R&D center in Hsinchu, Taiwan before the final round on January 15, 2020.
“It has been a great pleasure to witness the talent and enthusiasm of the contestants of the TSMC IC Layout Contest,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, Vice President of Technology Development of TSMC. “The combination of leading-edge semiconductor processes and advanced IC layout is a solid foundation for innovations in design and technology co-optimization. We welcome innovative young talent to join us in the semiconductor industry, challenge the limits of technology, and define the industry’s path forward to build a new future.”
“Microsoft worked hand in hand with TSMC to not only provide the cloud infrastructure for the IC Layout Contest, but also support online and offline training for the contestants,” said Rani Borkar, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure. “The flexibility and scalability of the Azure platform also enabled us to seamlessly accommodate the strong turnout for this contest as well as provide access for students all over Taiwan. We hope the contestants have not only acquired valuable knowledge and skills, but also gained greater passion for the fascinating field of semiconductor technology.”
“We’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to the winners of the TSMC IC Layout Contest. To see so many students working with our layout tools and the Cadence CloudBurst™ platform at the same time doing such impressive work in advanced IC layout, it has been an unprecedented experience,” said Dr. Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence. “Cadence has supported Taiwan’s thriving, innovative IC design industry for many years, and our close collaboration with TSMC in this contest is another way we’re demonstrating our commitment to future generations of innovators.”