Tau Contest 2018

TAU Contest 2018

TAU 2018 would like to invite students to participate in this year's contest on path reporting.

Contest Description

Problem Overview

Static Timing Analysis (STA) is a computationally intensive process with two major steps:

  • Generation of a persistent timing model with arrival and required time values
  • Generation of timing reports

It is well known to those who understand STA that core timing model is generated only once and timing report generation happens subsequently and sequentially as there are many different forms of reports that users need. Especially on advanced technologies, timing signoff has shifted from Graph-Based Analysis (GBA) to Path-Based Analysis (PBA) to avoid the pessimism. Generation of timing reports is a computationally intensive step and inherently complex since there are huge set of dependencies of one timing path on another. A typical user flow has 1000s of commands that request timing reports for a specific subset of paths. Therefore it is imperative that the timing tool has a highly efficient timing path reporting capability as that will enable faster design closure.

The TAU 2018 contest will focus on the reporting capabilities of a timing tool. The specific objective is to build a runtime and memory efficient timing path enumeration and reporting capability which allows user to generate top N critical timing reports on a specific cone of logic.

The goals of this year’s TAU contest are:

  • Increase awareness of timing path reporting and need for efficient parallel architecture to dynamically build requested timing paths
  • Accurate timing path identification within the specified from/through/to parameters
  • Create an evaluation environment to measure the performance of path reporting capability.


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, 2017. 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. 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 Release October 22nd, 2017
  • Contest Registration Deadline December 15, 2017
  • Alpha Binaries Due February 15, 2018
  • Final Binaries Due February 28, 2018
  • Announcement of Winners (at TAU 2018) March 16th, 2018

Updates and Announcements

Check back here for regularly!

Contest Organizers

Contest Chair

George Chen [Intel]



Amit Dhuria [Cadence]


Xi Chen [Synopsys]


TAU 2018 Committee (TAU 2018)

General Chair

Tom Spyrou [Intel]


Technical Chair

Song Chen [Synopsys]



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