Design Verification Competition Gives Electrical Engineering Students an Industry Advantage
Author: Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
Posted: November 20, 2018

As computer hardware designs become increasingly sophisticated, the need for quick, reliable hardware verification tools and the engineering expertise to use them becomes absolutely critical. To serve this industry need, an annual student competition is connecting Portland State engineering talent to careers in this emerging field.

The Need for Speed Veloce Emulation Competition is a partnership between Mentor Graphics and Portland State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department that encourages students to explore hardware validation by presenting them with problems one might encounter in industry. Such challenges are far beyond any that students typically run up against at the college-level, yet provide a tangible opportunity to unite many of the different areas they study.

Need for Speed is designed to help participants develop a skillset that is highly attractive to potential employers. Many past participants report being directly recruited by Mentor Graphics and the other companies represented on the judging panel upon graduation.

The fifth annual Need for Speed competition was held on November 2, 2018. Three teams competed for a total of $9,000 in prize money and the opportunity to showcase their abilities before a panel of industry executives. The judges decided to combine 1st and 2nd place such that each team would receive $4000 each and the 3rd place team would receive $1000.

Sujay Hemantkumar Bhansali and Juilee Patharkar won $4,000 for their project "AMBA AHB-Lite"

Lowren Lawson, James Naughton, and Cody Osborn won $4,000 for their project "Systolic array"

Kirtan Ketanbhai Mehta won $1,000 for his project "Floating Point Unit"

Tom Schubert, a PSU design verification and validation instructor, served as a team mentor and helped coordinate the event. Schubert, who joined PSU in 2014 after 17 years at Intel, directs a graduate track in Design Verification and Validation. Through his leadership and industry collaborations such as Need for Speed, PSU seeks to establish a nationally-recognized program in Design Verification that cultivates verification engineers that can not only keep up, but also accelerate the pace of innovation.