Mentor Graphics University Design Contest 2013

Call for Participation

This is the Fourth Mentor Graphics University Design contest 2013 in India. The focus of this contest is to provide an opportunity for engineering students to showcase their technical talent and competency using Mentor Graphics tools. We expect to grow this contest with increased representation & participation, and draw maximum number of contestants for the contest.

  • Nahla Zohdy, Mentor Graphics Egypt
  • Rajeev Sehgal, Mentor Graphics India
  • Veeresh Shetty, Mentor Graphics India

Mentor Graphics University Design Contest?

This competitive design contest is aimed at :

  • Provide an opportunity for engineering students from different technology streams to participate in the contest and demonstrate their technical capabilities, problem solving, project management and design skills in a contest against their peers.
  • Provide all participants with new perspectives on how design teams from different disciplines and different regions of the country approach a common design problem.
  • Provide engineering students with a chance to meet experts to showcase and present their ideas, and also network with fellow participants to discuss newer ideas of working on a project.


The top three winners of the University Design Contest will earn a Certificate of Recognition. There will be one Winner team followed by two runner-up teams.

The winning team will be awarded a cash prize of US$3000.
1st Runner-up – US$2000.
2nd Runner-up – US$1000.

Project Proposal - The Design Problem

The primary motivation behind coming up with this problem was to give you a hands-on perspective on ‘high performance computing’, where-in you would learn what it takes to offload a computational task to an FPGA. Sure, there are challenges in creating an RTL that maps optimally to a specific FPGA architecture, but the performance advantage delivered by such massively parallel implementation clearly outweighs the sequential implementation that runs as a software application on a standard CPU.

In a way, such a reconfigurable (FPGA) implementation lets you design your own ‘custom’ processor that has plenty of registers and memory (cache) at its disposal, with instructions hardcoded as parallel dedicated circuits.

Coming to the contest problem, there’s one primary task that you will have to accomplish. The basic requirement is to create a functionally correct RTL solution that fits into Xilinx’s Spartan 3A FPGA. However the challenge is to accomplish this in as less number of clock cycles as possible, consuming minimum FPGA resources while achieving maximum operating frequency.

For detailed description about the project, kindly click on the Project Description doc below :

MG UDC Project Description

The Contest Design & Structure

The contest follows a three stage process. Each stage will focus on communicating the team's ideas through a different channel, as follows:

  • Teams will submit a short project paper (10 pages maximum) describing their solution to the project proposal. University Design Contest Technical committee will review and evaluate all the submissions. A maximum of 10 teams will be selected for the next stage.
  • Shortlisted teams will be expected to send a presentation outlining the entire description. The proposed solution will be reviewed by the University Design Contest Technical committee. The Technical committee will select 5 teams for the final selection/ranking.
  • The 5 finalists will be rated based on their proposed solution/design to the technical committee. Based on the criteria below, the competition judges will rank and identify an overall winner of the competition and one runner-up team.

Steps to Enter

Stage 1: Preparation and Submission of Paper/Project

Teams should prepare a paper/solution document (10 pages maximum) written in the Extended Abstracts format. This document should be submitted as a single PDF by September 20th, 2013, to or at The file must be no larger than 5 Mb in size.

This paper must include:

  • Description of the proposed solution, including the approach taken and the design process followed
  • Any reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • Appropriate imagery to illustrate the design solution
  • Acknowledgement of any assistance drawn from outside the team (advisors, faculty, domain experts, existing solutions, users, etc.)
  • Acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions

All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information, including the contact details. Please be sure that submissions do not contain proprietary or confidential material and do not cite proprietary or confidential publications. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper.

Stage Two: Presentation

Only 10 shortlisted submissions will be invited for the second stage of the contest based on the technical committee’s rating and judgment. Teams should send their presentation within the stipulated timeline and format.

Teams will be expected to host their presentation and discuss their approach, design method and solutions with the Technical committee if required. The Technical committee will thereafter select 5 teams to present orally present their proposed solutions.

Specific guidelines for preparing presentations :

  • Each presentation should not have more than 15 slides.
  • Audiovisual and computing equipment will be supplied. Power outlets will be available.

The presentation must include:

  • The proposed solution's name, team name, University/College affiliation
  • The perspective taken to address the Project/Design challenge
  • A concise description of the proposed solution
  • Clear illustrations of key aspects of your proposed solution
  • Compelling, effective visual design

Final Stage: Paper/Project Presentation

Five teams selected following the Presentations will present their design process and solution during a short presentation to the Technical committee. Presentations will be limited to 45 minutes plus a subsequent 15 minutes to answer questions from the judges and audience.

Presentations must include:

  • The design process that was followed
  • A concise description of the proposed solution
  • Reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • Acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions
  • Reviewing Criteria

Mentor Graphics EDA Software will be used for the different stages of the design.


Team/College/University Requirements

Teams must consist of at least two, but no more than five, students. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given University.

Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to post-graduate. The University/College should be Mentor Graphics Higher Education Program(HEP) Partner. All submissions should have the proof of Mentor Graphics tool/technology usage.

Learn more about the Mentor Graphics HEP Program