CUHK Won the Champion in the ISPD-2011 Routability-driven Placement Contest

International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD) Contest is an annual contest in VLSI CAD attracting many research teams from academia and industry to participate. The contest is organized by IBM and the result will be announced in the annual conference, ISPD. The topic in this year is routability-driven placement.

The chair for this year's contest was Natarajan Viswanathan from the Systems and Technology Group at IBM. As with previous years, eight new, challenging industrial benchmarks were released by IBM to test the routability of the placement algorithms. This year' 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. Sixteen teams initially registered to participate in the contest, and after the preliminary phase, nine teams remained for the final phase of the contest. To qualify for the final phase, the teams had to successfully place two out of four sample benchmarks in early February that were released in advance last early December. The nine qualified teams submitted the final version of their placers in early March. Leading up to ISPD 2011, the final versions of the placers were tested on eight benchmark circuits. These comprised of the four previously released benchmarks and four "hidden" benchmarks. The contest results were formally announced during ISPD 2011. All eight benchmarks were then made public after the announcement of the contest results.

The first place in the ISPD-2011 contest went to "Ripple", developed by our team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, comprised of graduate students Xu He, Tao Huang, Linfu Xiao, Haitong Tian and Guxin Cui. The second place went to "mPL11" developed by a team from UCLA. Third place went to "SimPLR" created by a team from the University of Michigan. Fourth place went to "RADIANT" developed by a team National Taiwan University.

Press coverage of the event by EEtimes can be found from