As the current integrated circuit (IC) industry is fast developing, the IC disciplines and their relevant competitions are also booming. The National College Students IC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (CICIEC) for undergraduates, organized by the Talent Exchange Center of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, is the key discipline competition in the field of IC for college students, aiming to improve students’ innovation ability in practice, comprehensive engineering quality, and team spirit.
At the end of August, the 7th CICIEC officially came to a close with the announcement of the national final winners, after three rounds of competitions—regional preliminary, regional final, and national final—lasting from June to August. This year’s CICIEC had eight competition tracks totaling 21 competitions, attracting more than 5,000 teams from over 380 colleges and universities. Four ShanghaiTech teams participated in the CICIEC, with one team winning the National Second Prize, and one team winning the Regional Third Prize.
Group photo of the ShanghaiTech team winning the National Second Prize
The competition track that ShanghaiTech teams chose was the “IC industrial chain” track, where the competition topic for the ShanghaiTech team that entered the national final was “chip design and verification based on operational amplifiers”. The task required students to go through an entire process of chip design and verification on operational amplifiers, by using EDA tools provided by Empyrean. This included the process of circuit and layout design of the operational amplifier, pre-simulation and post-simulation verification during the design stage, and a whole-process experiment for PDK verification.
Based on the amplifier theory, the ShanghaiTech team designed a second-order differential operational amplifier chip, calculated the transistor parameters through theoretical calculation and simulation fine-tuning, and achieved the maximum broadband on the basis of meeting the design indicators.
The team in the competition
The instructor of the four ShanghaiTech teams was Liu Chuang, a Senior Engineer in SIST, who instructs the lab classes in the course entitled “Analog and Digital Circuits”. In the lab classes, Liu developed a bold and innovative curriculum and continuously optimized the teaching contents, from aspects such as principle exploration, hands-on practice, and enhancing of innovation ability. All his efforts in the lab classes laid a solid knowledge foundation for the participating students.