TAU 2021 Student Contest

TAU 2021 workshop would like to invite students to participate in this year's contest on delay calculation using current source models.

Contest Description

With 45nm process technology nodes and below, the impact of wire resistance and Miller capacitance on circuit delay are not ignorable. Delay calculation using voltage-based models like Non-Linear Delay Model (NLDM) is not accurate for some designs. To overcome these challenges, EDA vendors have iteratively enhanced their models. Current Source Models (CSM) for the driver are now able to capture more detail and to accurately model how logic gates drive their fanout. Non-linear and slew/load dependent load capacitances are likewise able to model the impact of loading a logic gate more accurately. Most commercial STA tools can do timing analysis using these models, but none of the open source STA tools support CSM yet.

To give the students exposure to latest industry trend and to contribute into the open-source community the selected topic of TAU 2021 contest is to extend and iterative upon the work accomplished for TAU 2020 and to develop a stage delay calculator consisting of all three components of a delay calculation engine – a CCS driver model, RC interconnect model, and CCS receiver model

Participants will write code for computing gate, net, and stage delay/slew from a single driver to multiple receivers. Refer to the TAU 2021 Contest Overview document for detailed information about the topic of contest. For reference, a solution to last year’s CSM buffer delay calculation has been provided, courtesy of "NTU iTimer Team". This year’s contest builds upon last year’s by adding multiple receivers.


Result will be announced around one month before the TAU workshop.


If you are interested in participating, please fill out the registration form by October 31th, 2020. Alternatively, you may send an email to tau.contest@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Name(s)

  • School/University

  • Contact email(s)

  • Adviser name [if applicable]

  • Team Name [optional]

To get started and learn more about the contest topic, start by reading over contest overview document under Resources. It will provide a high-level overview of the contest topic.

Important Dates

All dates below are tentative!

  • Contest Release August 29th, 2020

  • Contest Registration Deadline October 31st, 2020

  • Alpha Binaries Due February 12th, 2021

  • Final Binaries Due March 12th, 2021

Updates and Announcements

-> Contest registration is closed on October 31st 2020. Eleven team from different University have registered for the contest.

-> Added three documents for contest education under the resource section.

-> Updated page of FAQ.

-> Code Infrastructure of contest is released under Github at https://github.com/geochrist/dctk

-> Result will be announced around one month before the TAU workshop.

Contest Organizers

Contest Chair

Walid Elgharbawy [Intel]


Contest Committee Member

Jignesh Shah [Intel]


Contest Committee Member

George Chen [Intel]


Contest Committee Member

Ted Hong [Google]


Contest Committee Member

Bogdan Tutuianu [TSMC]


Contest Committee Member

Anton Belov [Synopsys]



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