Electronics industry suffering from bad university priorities

Published: 08.Oct.2015

Bitvis is presenting an Invited talk at Norcas 2015 in Oslo, Tuesday 27 October @16:30:

The electronics industry is suffering from bad priorities in the university

University graduated FPGA and ASIC designers from all over Europe are often not even close to having sufficient knowledge on the most important aspects of FPGA and ASIC development. This is often resulting in unstable end-products and in major project delays, and thus of course very critical for the industry.

One might claim that the industry itself is responsible for the final touch in the education, but these problems are not caused by a missing final touch, but rather by missing basic, essential knowledge that definitely should have been covered in the general university education. Knowledge that will be equally important in 20 years as it was 10 years ago.

An additional aspect of these problems is the fact that many FPGA designers work as a single FPGA "expert" in a company with no other designers to learn from. Sadly companies with multiple FPGA/ASIC designers are often not much better when it comes to education, but here at least internal feedback may help a bit.

There are also huge improvement potentials in the industry itself. Most companies tend for instance to significantly underestimate the importance of a good and structured digital design development methodology. This could be caused by a general lack of awareness, lack of manager knowledge, wrong priorities in the projects or even a bad company improvement culture. Such industry ignorance is of course also a major contributor to the inefficiency and quality issues mentioned above. We are continuously trying to increase the awareness about this in the industry, but it is very important to also let academia know that they are playing an important role here.

This presentation will thus discuss some of the most important weaknesses of the university education, and look at the consequences for the industry - with real examples on project delays and product deficiencies. A summary of the most critical competence improvement areas will be given, and hopefully academia can improve both the university education and the general industry awareness.