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Academic-Industrial Cooperation Creates Business Opportunities for Enterprises Worth Tens of Millions Dollars Every Year

NTU's System on Chip Center recently held its third quarterly R & D Report presentation, and invited industrial members and academic circles to participate in the event.

The themes of the quarterly report centered on popular research topics such as Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Embedded Systems. Altogether nearly one hundred people from industry and academia showed up at the event.

Dr. Liang-Gee Chen, director of NTU's System on Chips Center pointed out that, the reason that SOC (System on a Chip) continued to hold research achievement reports on a quarterly basis was to share the University's technological breakthroughs with the industry members. During the report sessions, students who were involved in the research process were also invited to attend, so that academia could have some real exchanges with the industrial members. He also mentioned his recent trip to the Silicon Valley in the United States. He learned from this experience that the American manufacturers were very concerned about the R & D of cutting edge technologies, and he hoped that Taiwan could follow suit and strengthen bilateral exchange between universities and industrial members by allowing teachers and students to touch base with the industries, so that the students would one day become the vanguards of the industries.

Dr. Liang-Gee Chen stressed: "If a workman wants to do his job well, he must first sharpen his tools." If the industrial members do not concern themselves with the development of new technologies, and just bury themselves in their daily routines, it is very unlikely for them to achieve twice the result with only half the effort. The NTU students apply their intelligence to create new values for the industry. Through the efforts of various research teams within the University, NTU is able to lead the industry to create product differentiation, which brings in new initiatives for the industrial members. NTU's SOC creates millions of dollars' worth of business opportunities for Taiwan's industries, and as of now is the only University that has a team conducting EDA-related researches. This proves that NTU supports industrial development from the bottom line, and in return the industries should offer more opportunities for NTU students, said Dr. Chen.

Convener of the third quarterly report Professor Tei-Wei Kuo pointed out that, NTU's SOC has many teachers, doctoral students and master level students involve in EDA and embedded system related researches. In the embedded systems category, six professors, 20 doctoral students, and over 50 master level students were involved; whereas in the EDA category, 12 professors, more than 100 graduate students were involved. This kind of manpower input allowed the whole research team to have many outstanding research achievements to report. Professor Jiun-Lang Huang, Professor Yi-Chang Lu, Profeessor Chung-Yang Huang, Professor Tei-Wei Kuo, Professor Jie-Hong Jiang, and Professor Yao-Wen Chang all published their research achievements during the quarterly report. Professor Tei-Wei Kuo mentioned that NTU also had many professors who occupied important positions in International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD) related research institutes, proving that NTU's strength in this research area is something to be reckoned with.

Professor Tei-Wei Kuo indicated that participation in the third quarterly report has been very enthusiastic from the very beginning. Aside from the six professors mentioned above, eight other professors participated in the poster display along with their students. And many manufacturers also participated in the exhibition, so the results were quite satisfactory.

Professor Jiun-Lang Huang's research touched upon the theme of test data compression. He gave a brief introduction of the problem which stemmed from the sudden increase of the volume of test data and went on to introduce the achievements made by his lab in handling this problem. He said, compression of test data and power consumption management during the testing process were the two major factors impacting on the cost of testing. Therefore, how to handle these two issues and how to effectively cut down the cost of testing will be the focus of his future research.

Professor Yi-Chang Lu gave a brief introduction of the 3D VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integration) technologies and their system structures, and talked about the image sensor devices, memory components, as well as field programmable gate array logic (FPGA) and their applications under the 3D VLSI technology.

Using the story of six blind men feeling the elephant as a metaphor, Professor Chung-Yang Huang mentioned that Electronic System Level (ESL) design is still in the groping stage, so far there has not been a complete and comprehensive design process. The results of many different research units are interpretations from different angles. What they lack, according to Professor Huang, is probably a mechanism whereby these research units can cooperate and coordinate with one another, and integrate each other's information in a correct order and direction, thus forming a whole. He hoped that in the future ESL design and accreditation could bring pluses for the EDA industry.

Professor Tei-Wei Kuo introduced the embedded system and the research team of the wireless network laboratory, whose members include Professor Tei-Wei Kuo (doing research on operating system and ESL), Professor Chi-Sheng Shih (doing research on operating system and chip design), Professor Shih-Hao Hung (doing research on actual applications). Professor Kuo indicated that at the present stage preliminary results were obtained in designing a more efficient energy usage and storage system, and many breakthroughs have been achieved in the design of multi-functional chips. In the multi-core performance analytic tools, the NTU research team has been able to detect the difference between high performance and low performance embedded applications.

Professor Jie-Hong Jiang introduced the fields of logic synthesis and verification for VLSI design and his lab's related research achievements. He pointed out that his research team found out that a close relationship was developing between these two fields. Although traditionally these two fields were deemed irrelevant, recent researches indicated that through algorithms developed by the other each individual field was able to solve the thorny issue of scalability for itself.

Professor Yao-Wen Chang was the last one to introduce the five major researches that his lab is conducting and their related achievements. He indicated that all these research achievements have been tested and verified by the industries, and their performance were found out to be better than the tools that the industries are currently using. He said, with the rapid evolution of the manufacturing process, the measurements of the manufacturing process have been lower than the wavelength of the light source. To address this issue, his lab proposed to conduct researches on optical proximity correction. His introduction received considerable interest from the attending industrial members.

Chinese version