TAU Contest 2019

TAU Contest 2019

TAU 2019 would like to invite students to participate in this year's contest on design optimization.

Contest Description

Timing-driven optimization is imperative for the success of closure flows. The optimization engine applies changes to the design and estimates circuit delays quickly and accurately to improve timing, area, and power performance. This procedure is inherently complex and computationally challenging. As such, the goals of this year’s contest are:

  • Increase awareness of optimization flows and need for efficient approaches
  • Develop an incremental and multithreaded optimization engine with logic-level modifications
  • Create an evaluation environment to measure the performance of an optimization engine

The TAU 2019 contest will focus on the performance of an optimization tool, in terms of final timing, area, and power. The specific objective is to develop a runtime and memory efficient approach to speed up closure flow.


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 October 30th, 2018. 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_overview.pdf and contest_rules.pdf under Resources. These documents will give a high-level overview of the contest topic. For in-depth details about the technical and syntax aspects, refer to contest_education.pdf (TBD) and contest_file_formats.pdf (TBD), also in Resources.

Important Dates

All dates below are tentative!

  • Contest Release August 18th, 2018
  • Contest Registration Deadline October 31st, 2018
  • Alpha Binaries Due February 1st, 2019
  • Final Binaries Due February 15th, 2019
  • Announcement of Winners (at TAU 2019) March TBD, 2019

Updates and Announcements

Check back here for regularly!

Contest Organizers

Contest Chair

George Chen [Intel]


Amit Dhuria [Cadence]


Jignesh Shah [Intel]


Tsung-Wei Huang [U of Illinois UC]


TAU 2019 Committee (TAU 2019)

General Chair

Song Chen [Synopsys]



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