Due to the advance in process technologies and the growth of system/circuit design complexity, the number of transistors in a state-of-the-art system on chip (SOC) or integrated circuit (IC) is usually on the order of billion (~109 transistors). Designing such a complex system is no longer possible with human capabilities, and thus necessitates the software tools for electronic design automation (EDA) so as to enhance designers' productivity. EDA is an interdisciplinary field of computer science (CS), computer engineering (CE), and electronic engineering (EE), which formulates and translates high-complexity problems of system/circuit design into mathematical or logical models, and then solves the problems with the software implementation of dedicated algorithms. There are only a few computer science disciplines integrating theory with practice, and integrating software and hardware-EDA is one of them.
Traditional applications of EDA include solving various problems throughout the entire SOC/IC design flow, such as software/hardware co-design, functional verification, logic synthesis and optimization, automatic placement and routing, design for manufacturability, reliability, and testability, etc. Furthermore, the applicability of EDA has extended to intelligent vehicles, smart grids/houses, microfluidic biochips, renewable energy, and the internet of things. With the explosive growth of complexity of these emerging topics, the support of effective and efficient design automation is becoming necessary, and many EDA techniques can seamlessly contribute.
The recent launch of the US Department of Defense's renaissance for semiconductors and the strategic layout of the European, American and Japanese governments inviting TSMC to set up factories have highlighted the important strategic position of semiconductors. Under the competitive situation between China and the United States, EDA has also been slightly controlled by the US government as one of the strategic technologies. Therefore, China is investing heavily to support China's local EDA industry in order to break through the blockade of advanced technology nodes from Europe and the United States. In order to maintain technological leadership, Europe and the United States have also invested more heavily in domestic research and development in related fields. In order to catch up with the international technology level, the domestic semiconductor industry in Taiwan has also invested heavily in EDA research. Therefore, in addition to the government's higher research funding in this research field than in the general fields, there is also a large amount of sufficient research funding provided by the industry. We have presented many outstanding research results in ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC) and IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), the two topmost international conferences in the EDA community. Several teams of students won worldwide programming contests such as IC/CAD contest and ACM CADathlon. Majority of the faculty members earned thesis/paper awards and academic achievement awards, and served (or are serving) in the technical program committee for major EDA conferences, and/or in the editorial board for major EDA journals. Also, we have massive research interaction and collaboration with many universities around the world, including the United States, Germany, Denmark, Japan, India, China, and Singapore.
- Algorithms for Electronic Design Automation
- AI (machine learning, deep learning) for VLSI Design and Design Automation
- Computer-Aided Design for Intelligent Vehicles/Grids and IoT/SoC
- Parallel Computing on Multicore Platforms
- Reliable/Trustworthy System Design