Congratulations to Xu He, Tao Huang, Wing-Kai Chow, Ka-Chun Lam, Jian Kuang, Wenzan Cai, supervised by Prof. Evangeline F.Y. Young won the second place of the ICCAD 2012 International CAD Contest on the topic of Design Hierarchy Aware Routability-driven Placement.

Routability-driven placement is a very important and hot issue in industry and academy recent years. The previous two contests on this same topic were organized in ISPD 2011 and DAC 2012 respectively. The ICCAD 2012 contest advanced the problem by including logic hierarchical information as input.

The chair of the ICCAD 2012 contest was Professor Yih-Lang Li from National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, and the topic chair of this placement contest is Dr. Natarajan Viswanathan from the Systems and Technology Group at IBM, USA.

In this contest, eight challenging industrial benchmarks with hierarchical information were released to test the routability of the placement algorithms. This contest was conducted in two phases: (a) a preliminary or qualification phase, and (b) a final phase with the qualified teams from the preliminary phase. Thirteen teams initially registered to participate in the contest, and after the preliminary phase, only eleven teams remained for the final phase. The eleven qualified teams submitted the final version of their placers in early October. Leading up to ICCAD 2012, the final versions of the placers were tested on eight benchmark circuits. These comprised of three previously released benchmarks and five "hidden" benchmarks. In order to evaluate routability, a scaled wirelength measure is used to consider both congestion and wirelength. The contest results were formally announced in ICCAD 2012. All eight benchmarks were then made public after the announcement of the contest results.

The first place went to "SimPLR" developed by a team from the University of Michigan and third place went to "NTUplace4h" created by a team from National Taiwan University.