The winners of the 2010 Innovate North America FPGA Competition, which is focused on the use of FPGA technology and design software to create innovative digital-system designs, are the University of Saskatchewan.
To assist with their design efforts the student teams and their professors were provided with Altera's Quartus II design software and a board from Terasic that features a Cyclone II FPGA, which they used to produce innovative, functional projects.
Most teams created their designs in VHDL or Verilog hardware description languages. Impulse C donated licenses for their CoDeveloper software, which enabled teams to specify their designs in ANSI C code and have it parallelized for multi-stream acceleration in FPGAs.
The University of Saskatchewan winning entry was a Real-time Sign Language Recognition System while in second place was the University of South Carolina with its project on FPGA Acceleration of Frequent Itemsets.
Tied for third place were Purdue University with the design for an Energy-Efficient Digital Camera and McMaster University and a 3D Camera project. An honorable mention was given to the University of Ottawa for its entry of a Bidirectional Human Computer Interface.
“We were very impressed with the range and quality of student submissions in this year's competition,” said Stephen Brown, director of the University Program for Altera. “Altera offers Innovate design contests each year in various regions and is pleased to play a role in helping students to learn more about digital technology.”
“This year's projects were outstanding and provided the participants with an invaluable experience,” said Alfredo Herrera, planning committee chairman and senior IEEE member, Ottawa. “Teams introduced some very unique ways of solving known problems. Having them execute these solutions using economical, powerful, industry-standard tools leaves a legacy of known good code that can be reused by industry.”
The student designs are available for download on the University Program section of Altera's website.