TAU Contest 2017

TAU 2017 would like to invite students to participate in this year's contest on timing macro-modeling

With the design size reach one billion gates, hierarchical timing become a necessary part of the timing analysis.  Traditional flat timing analysis takes too long and requires too much memory.  Timing macro model is the key
technology to help designers to analyze large designs.  To make the technology useful, model size is very important, together with the model accuracy.

The TAU 2017 contest is an continuation on TAU 2016 contest on timing macro modeling, with an emphasis on model size reduction:
  • compact and accurate modeling is the key for efficient hierarchical timing analysis;
  • encourage parallel (multithreaded, distributed) approaches;
  • introduce different macro-models and formats, including black-box and gray-box models, encapsulated in industry-standard formats;
  • create an evaluation environment to measure the performance of macro-modeling generation and usage in terms of memory, runtime, and accuracy; and
  • facilitate a unified academic timing engine in which macro-models are generated and its quality is automatically compared to the original flat-timed design.

Although we still recommend contestants to continue to use the industry standard timing model format Liberty for timing models, we allow contestant to create macro libraries in its own format.

Top performers will receive monetary prizes as well as plaques commemorating their achievements.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the registration form by November 30th, 2016. Alternatively, you may send an email to tau <dot> contest <at> gmail <dot> com with the following information:
  • Name(s)
  • School/University
  • Contact email(s)
  • Advisor name [if applicable]
  • Team Name [optional]
To get started and learn more about the contest topic, start by reading over contest_rules.pdf under Resources. This document will give the high-level idea of the contest topic. For in-depth details about the technical and syntax aspects, refer to contest_education.pdf and contest_file_formats.pdf.

Important Dates
All dates below are tentative.

 Contest ReleaseAugust 15th, 2016
 Contest Registration DeadlineNovember 30th, 2016
 Alpha Binaries DueFebruary 1st, 2017
 Final Binaries DueFebruary 15th, 2017
 Announcement of Winners (at TAU 2017)TBD

Updates and Announcements
  • .

Contest Organizers


 Song Chen [Synopsys]
Contest Chair

  Xi Chen [Synopsys]

 Xin Zhao [IBM Corp.]

Akash Khandelwal [Cadence]

TAU 2017 Committee (TAU 2017)


 Qiuyang Wu [Synopsys]
General Chair
Tom Spyrou [Intel]
Technical Chair

For any questions, concerns, or feedback regarding the contest, please email tau <dot> contest <at> gmail <dot> com.

  • Kuan-Hsien Ho and Yao-Wen Chang from National Taiwan University (NTU) for providing their source NTUtimer (Winners of the PATMOS 2011 Contest)
  • Jobin Jacob Kavalam, Neel Gala and Nitin Chandrachoodan for providing the source code of IITimer (winner of the TAU 2013 Contest)
  • Billy Lee for providing the binary of iTimerC 2.0 (winner of the TAU 2015 Contest)
  • Tsung-Wei Huang for providing the source code of UI-Timer (winner of the TAU 2014 Contest) and the use of OpenTimer