Home    First Challenge    Second Challenge    Suggestions    Download

Third IEEE Programming Challenge at IWLS

For the third time in the history of the International Workshop for Logic Synthesis (IWLS) we are launching a programming challenge sponsored by the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA). With this programming challenge we would like to advance and promote a new open source logic synthesis system which will provide the base for future comprehensive EDA tool flows and a research platform on the industrial database OpenAccess.

The first and second programming challenge of the previous years were a great success. The best contributions are now part of OA Gear and enhance the package significantly.

Individual students as well as teams of multiple students are encouraged to participate in this challenge to either implement their current research on this platform or to implement known and published synthesis algorithms as part of their education. We have also published a list of suggestions of algorithms to implement.

The Challenge

The challenge is to implement one or more logic optimization or verification algorithms on the industrial EDA database OpenAccess. The algorithms should make maximum use of the OpenAccess data base, be implemented in a native manner and adhere to the coding conventions of OpenAccess.

The algorithm should be implemented within the OA Gear infrastructure. OA Gear provides an RTL-Verilog reader and synthesis into a technology independent netlist (and-inverter graph), a simple mapper which directly maps the nodes of the and-inverter graph onto a specified set of three library elements (AND, NOT, FF), accurate timing analysis with slew propagation, and a simple equivalence checker which is based on the and-inverter graph representation.

The technology dependent optimization algorithms should be implemented directly on OpenAccess, technology independent optimization algorithms should use the functional layer in OA Gear in the package Func, together with the and-inverter graph (AIG) package. The results of the technology dependent algorithms are evaluated by performing accurate timing analysis and should preferably use the incremental timing analysis of the OA Gear timer.

OA Gear comes together with the IWLS 2005 Benchmarks which provide a good basis for computational experiments.

More information: Presentation by Aaron Hurst at IWLS June 2006: OpenAccess Gear Functionality - A Platform for Functional Representation, Synthesis, and Verification.

The Sponsors

The programming challenge is sponsored by the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation. We are thankful for additional financial support from Cadence and IBM.


The Prizes

  1. For a fixed number of significant contributions selected by a jury:
    A travel grant for one team member to attend IWLS including airfare (up to a fixed cap), full registration, and lodging.
  2. For a single outstanding contribution selected by a jury:
    In addition to the travel grant a cash prize of $500 for the selected team.

Only full-time students registered during the spring 2008 semester are eligible to participate. The winners will be invited to either give a talk or present a poster as part of the workshop program.

The Dates

Submission deadline for the preliminary version of the two-page technical paper April 20, 2008
Submission deadline for the final two-page technical paper April 29, 2008
Submission deadline for the source code May 4, 2008
Notification of the winners of the travel grants May 14, 2008
IWLS workshop at Lake Tahoe, CA (in the week before the Design Automation Conference) June 4 -- June 6, 2008

All dates refer to midnight PST. Please note, that these deadlines are strict. Submissions that are received after this deadline will not be considered.


The winners of the prizes will be selected by a jury of the IWLS Programming Challenge Committee. The judges will grade entries using the following criteria:

How to Get Started

Details for downloading and installing the IWLS challenge software are described in the "Download" section.

How to Enter

All participants have to write a two-page technical paper which describes the algorithm, the implementation and computational results. A preliminary version is due by midnight (PST) April 20, 2008 and the final version is due by midnight (PST) April 29, 2008. The papers have to be submitted via e-mail to submit@iwlschallenge.org. All the technical papers will be published in the workshop proceedings.

The source code has to be submitted as a gzipped tar file via e-mail to submit@iwlschallenge.org by midnight (PST) May 4, 2008 together with the final technical paper. Your code should be in one separate directory of the OA Gear package and compile in this environment on one of the supported platforms. We also ask you to add meaningful output logfiles and scripts which run the benchmarks and a README file so that we can reproduce the results.

You need to agree that your source code may be released after the workshop as part of the OA Gear project under the OA Gear license. This is an essential requirement to ensure that your contribution can become part of the EDA flow.


We would like to thank Martin Barke for his help in launching this year's programming challenge.


Please, send us any questions to cochairs@iwlschallenge.org.

The IEEE Programming Challenge at IWLS Co-Chairs
Christoph Albrecht and Florian Krohm