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What is the deadline for entry?

February 19th, 2024

When will I be notified if I won?

During the awards webinar for the contest, which is scheduled for June 11th, 2024.

How will I be notified?

You will receive an email at the address you provide on the submission form.

What is the entry process?

Simply create a profile, then select ‘Enter’ from the Home page to start entering your design. 

Do I have to complete the form at one time or can I finish later?

You may complete the form in stages. Information you enter will be securely stored for your next visit.

What happens if I recognize a mistake after I submit my entry? 

You can change your data even after submitting the entry. If there are major issues, contact us for assistance.

Who will review my submissions? 

There will be a panel of judges who will review and rank all entries. The company name, designer name and contact information is not visible during the judging process to prevent any bias. The judging panel is comprised of industry thought leaders, publication editors and some of your peers.

Who are the judges this year?

Dr. Rajan Bedi, CEO and Founder - Spacechips

Dan Beeker, Technical Director, Automotive Field Applications Engineering, NXP Semiconductors

Steph Chavez, Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA) Chairman, CID+

Tomas Chester, Founder and Hardware Designer, Chester Electronic Design

Gary Ferrari, EPTAC

What are the judging criteria?

The judges typically look at the complexity of the design stats (pad density, fabrication complexity, design constraints such as high speed, …) but will also pay a lot of attention to your write-ups as to the challenges your team faced during the design process, and how you overcame those challenges using your design experience and the tools available. So just submitting a design with impressive stats does not assure a win. Good write-ups at the end of the submission form really help the judges. Good design images are also critical.

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes. You can submit as many entries as you like. Create one profile, then start adding entries.

What will I receive if I win?

Global recognition of the company and design team through a press release and presentations / webinars. You may also be featured in industry publications. You will receive a plaque featuring your design for the company office.

What design data is required for an entry?

The data includes parameters of your design (e.g. number of layers, components, nets, etc), a description of the challenges faced in the design process, and supporting documentation (e.g. design images, specs). Please review the Sample Entry Form for details.

What design entry information is published?

See the webinar from the last competition for the best example of how design entry data is used (it’s typically one screenshot and a few small statistics of the winners). Board images are captured from the submitted files (data is not published in ODB++, CCZ, PDF or other electronic formats). Please review the disclaimer at the start of the entry process (available in the sample entry form).

Who has access to the submitted design information?

The full entry is only made available to the judges and Siemens/Mentor employees. Because external judges are used, the existing Siemens/Mentor NDA does not apply. The judges treat the information as confidential because they understand the importance of this to Siemens/Mentor and our customers.

Why do I need to supply more than just screen shots of my design?

You can still supply screen shots. However, the judges have asked for more information to help them review the designs (beyond the usual few screenshots). Screenshots are typically low resolution, not permitting review of design details. ODB++, PDF or CCZ data do not have this limitation. Most people delete a layer from the output data if they are concerned about the security of the design.

Can I just enter my original design database?

No. The judges would have to install every EDA flow (and every version) to review the data. To maintain the security of your design, please send ODB++, CCZ or PDF outputs (or screenshots if these aren’t possible). 

I am concerned about IP security – what is the minimum information required?

Please review the design entry guidelines for the required data. After review of this information, most agree that their security will not be compromised. The greatest concern is generally around design images. The minimum requirement is a few screen shots of the design, but to be competitive, design data in ODB++, PDF or CCZ formats are preferred. If only screen shots are supplied, please include as many individual layers as possible (one image with all layers turned on is very difficult to review). If you submit data in ODB++, PDF or CCZ, you can control which layers are included. See note above regarding published materials.

Why should I (and my company) participate?

Winning this competition provides good exposure for the company and their advanced electronics products. It also provides exposure for the design team within the company and the global design community.

Can I submit on behalf of the entire engineering organization?

You can recognize individuals or the whole team. If you want to submit as a team, just indicate “XYZ design team” under Additional Designer Names (in this case, the team contact’s name won’t be used).

How long has this competition been running?

This is the 30th competition.

What are the design categories?

The categories for this year’s competition are:

  • Dense high-speed digital
  • RF/microwave
  • Power supply
  • Mixed A/D/RF
  • Device under test
  • Back plane
  • Multi-board system

Additional questions or comments about the Siemens Xcelerator Technology Innovations Awards? 

Contact David Wiens, Siemens at pcb_tla@mentor.com