UMEC, CUHK and HKSTP Co-organise EDA Webinar to Explore Opportunities of Open-source and AI-based EDA Tools for China


An EDA webinar themed “The Emerging Opportunities of Open-source and AI-based EDA Tools for China” was co-organised by United Microelectronics Centre (Hong Kong) Limited (UMEC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation (HKSTP) on 25 November 2020. With the brilliant keynote presentations and panel discussion given by various global scholars and industry pioneers, the webinar had attracted over 400 audience.

Dr. Claudia Xu, Chief Commercial Officer of HKSTP and Prof. Martin Wong, Dean of Engineering of CUHK kicked off the webinar by giving inspirational welcoming remarks. Taking this opportunity, Martin paid the last respects to Prof. Chung Luang Liu, former president of National Tsing Hua University. “Prof. C. L. Liu was an internationally renowned pioneer and educator in IT sciences. His selfless mentorship produced many distinguished talents in academia and industries.” he said.

At the keynote presentation session, Prof. David Pan from The University of Texas at Austin shared an open-source fully-automated analog IC layout system leveraging human and machine intelligence. Then, Prof. Guojie Luo from Peking University explained the challenges and opportunities of open-source EDA tools. Prof. Bei Yu from CUHK, Dr. Gilbert Bai, CTO of SMIT Group and Mr. Michael Liu, Product Manager of Huada Empyrean Software Co., Ltd. further elaborated how artificial intelligence (AI) enhances different types of EDA tools, achieving better performance and reducing IC design time.

Moderated by Dr. Meikei Ieong, Director of UMEC, a panel discussion was carried out to investigate the EDA pioneers’ opinions on the topic of “The Emerging Opportunities of Open-source and AI-based EDA Tools for China”. Dr. YK Li, Vice President of UMEC, Dr. Wenchao Liu, Vice President of Primarius Technologies and Mr. Michael Liu, Product Manager of Huada Empyrean Software Co., Ltd., had an in-depth discussion on the challenges of EDA development in China and come up with different solutions. Facing the scarcity of technology talents, Hong Kong’s top echelon universities could help nurture the subject experts and thus support the national EDA development. Mr. William Fu, VP Operation of X-EPIC Corporation Limited explained the possible business models of open-source EDA companies that contributes to profitability. Moreover, Mr. Peter Fang, CEO of Analog Insights Inc. shared the current market niche of analog EDA tools.

The webinar provided much inspiration to the EDA community and raised plenty of feasible EDA development directions. UMEC has intensifying the connection and collaboration between the industry, academia and research institutions, as well as encouraging joint-research effort into open-source and AI-based EDA tools. The future EDA development in China is promising.

For a full recap of the EDA webinar, please refer to the event white paper.


Prof. Martin Wong, Dean of Engineering of CUHK gave a warm welcome to the speakers, panellists and audience

Prof. David Pan from The University of Texas at Austin shared about MAGICAL, an open-source fully-automated analog IC layout system leveraging human and machine intelligence

Prof. Bei Yu from CUHK elaborated how deep learning contributes to VLSI mask optimisation

Five panellists from leading EDA companies discussed about the emerging opportunities of open-source and AI-based EDA tools for China