Amrita Students Ace Design Contest
January 17, 2013
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
Final-year students of BTech (Electronics and Communication Engineering) Ananthakrishnan P. R. and Deepak Dileep recently won a cash award of $1000 when they secured the third prize in the Mentor Graphics University Design Contest.
The nation-wide competition organized by Mentor Graphics Inc, a US-based multinational corporation specializing in electronic design automation, attracted the participation of 253 student teams from 191 institutions across India.
The contest was organized in India for the third consecutive year. Online rounds preceded the final evaluation. IIT Kharagpur bagged the first prize that included a cash award of $3000 and East West Institute of Technology, Bangalore, took home the second prize and a cash award of $2000.
All contestants submitted designs of Digital Access Controllers, that could be used to gain access to secure locations with a pass-code.
“We designed the system from the basic knowledge we obtained in the VLSI elective course: Digital Logic Design using HDL,” the students explained.
This course was taught by Assistant Professor Rajesh Kannan Magalingam, who mentored the students as they aspired to make the winning design.
“It was excellent to work with Ananthakrishnan and Deepak. They formed a great team. They won this coveted award because of their dedication and perseverance. Before undertaking the project, the students only knew about Design Methodology in theory; through this they received the opportunity to actually apply the theory learned.”
The students’ access controller had two modules – Keypad Controller and Access Controller. The former was designed to interface with the physical keypad of the system. This passed input to the latter, which determined whether the correct pass-code was entered by the user or not. If the pass-code was wrong, the system was designed to sound an alarm.
“We designed the entities with the help of state machines and verified their working with timing diagrams,” the students explained.
Students from any technology streams could participate in the contest which was meant to also provide insights into how design teams from different disciplines and different regions of the world approached common design problems.
“Winning the third prize brought us great joy. It has motivated us to take up more challenges in the future and also explore this subject in greater depth. To participate in a design contest was an entirely different experience for us. It provided an exciting platform for us to apply what we had learned in our curriculum to design an actual system,” the students summed up.