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Cadence Thesis Contest for Automotive Embedded Systems 

Cadence Thesis Contest for Automotive Embedded Systems
7-October-2012 – Final paper due
Deadline Extended
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Cadence Design Systems announced the launch of a thesis contest for automotive embedded systems. The objective of the contest is to attract submissions of Diploma, Bachelor, and Master theses about best methodologies, flows, designs and tools for automotive embedded systems designs based on SystemC.

Over the last years, Cadence has successfully sponsored several student design contests. This year, Diploma, Bachelor, and Master Contestants are challenged to create a virtual platform (VP) of an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for e. g. Body, Chassis, Engine, Powertrain, Driver Assistance or Infotainment, by modeling the hardware at a higher abstraction level using SystemC. CPU, memory, interfaces, and the bus should be part of the VP.

To enter the contest, all participants must submit a paper of their thesis following the submission guidelines. Deadline is October 7, 2012.

A jury of university professors and Cadence specialists will review the submissions with respect to the following criteria:
  • Inventiveness
  • Complexity of embedded system
  • Methodology
  • Breadth of design aspects covered
  • Project presentation and demonstration
  • HW/SW codesign aspects covered
The winners of the contest will be announced at CDNLive! EMEA 2013. Besides winning valuable prizes for the participants, the 3 best submissions will be presented at CDNLive! EMEA 2013.

Cadence will award the following prizes *:
  • Winner: 2000 EUR or Apple MacBook Pro
  • Second: 1000 EUR or Apple iPhone 5
  • Third: 500 EUR or Apple iPad
*The cash price can be only selected by the student if she/he is not at the time of the notification employed at a Cadence customer. In this case the item price would apply.

Cadence will sponsor:
  • Paper presentation at the Cadence CDNLive! EMEA 2013 for the winners
  • Travel expenses (incl. conference fee) for the winners
  • Potential employment opportunity at Cadence EMEA
Participation rules:
  • Thesis must (have been) complete(d) between 1-JAN-2012 and 15-FEB-2013.
  • All applicants are invited to submit abstracts (4 pages paper) of their thesis, independent of location of the Engineering school, Institute, University. This contest is not limited to specific countries.
  • All project documentation, abstract, paper, presentation, demonstration in English language using the templates provided.
  • Project presentation has to be delivered..
October 7, 2012 Final project paper due
October 15, 2012 5 best contributions acceptance notification
November 15, 2012
Contest meeting in Munich, Germany
Presentation of 5 best contributions at Contest Meeting (Travel cost reimbursed *)
November 30, 2012 Three winners will be notified and invited to attend the Cadence user conference CDNLive! EMEA! on May 6-8, 2013 in Germany, where the final winner will be announced.
May 6-8, 2013
CDNLive! EMEA in Munich, Germany
Announcement of 3 best contributions and presentation by participants

* up to a limit and for Bachelor, Master and Diplom Engineer students only.

The final project paper (due October 7, 2012) should be 4 pages in length and follow the provided template.

If selected for presentation at the Contest Meeting, additionally a 60 minute presentation has to be created. The presentation format can follow the guidelines of the participant’s institution.

Automotive Thesis Contest scope
With the availability of more powerful multi-core microprocessor architectures, car manufacturers are trying to consolidate the number of ECUs to a smaller number of high performance ECUs on which multiple applications running. Therefore a holistic approach for HW/SW co-design that allows early architecture exploration and design of a distributed function is key.

Target system
Electronic Control Unit for e. g. Body, Chassis, Engine, Powertrain, Driver Assistance or Infotainment which is comprised of Hardware, Real-time Operating System (RTOS), AUTOSAR RTE (optional), Application SW. Ideally the ECU can be connected via an Ethernet bus to the network of a car. Other network connections like CAN, FlexRay or MOST are also possible.

Design Task Example
A virtual platform (VP) of the ECU should be created by modeling the HW at a higher abstraction level using SystemC. CPU, memory, interfaces and the bus should be part of the VP. Once the modeling is done the real-time OS, the AUTOSAR RTE and the application SW needs to be started on top of the ECU. The VP should be then used to explore and analyze various scenarios of the HW/SW partitioning, architecture and processor configurations. A performance analysis and partitioning should be carried out by applying different use cases to multiple configurations. Questions like can we migrate specific functions or tasks that were originally implemented in HW like a decoder to SW running on the processor and still ensuring that the ECU is working according to the specification.

Picture 1: Block diagram of a typical Virtual Platform connected via TLM2 sockets

To submit your abstracts or for more information on the contest please email:

Download the template