Great interest in meeting the chip industry on Chip Day

Friday 22 Apr 22

Contact

Martin Schöberl
Professor
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 37 43

Contact

Jan Madsen
Professor, Section Head, Deputy Director
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 37 51

Contact

Luca Pezzarossa
Assistant Professor
DTU Compute

Participating companies

  • Asyngn
  • Cadence
  • CheetahAI
  • Comcores
  • Demant
  • GN Hearing
  • IC Works, Open source chip design
  • Infineon Technologies Denmark
  • Knowles
  • Microchip
  • Napatech
  • NVIDIA
  • Oticon
  • Presto Engineering
  • Silicom Denmark
  • Skycore Semiconductors
  • Synopsys
  • SyoSil
  • WSA
  • Zeuxion

Slides from DTU Chip Day

Find slides and agenda on Github

Denmark needs more trained chip designers, and DTU Compute is now increasing its efforts to get more students to choose that career path.

The world is talking about chip shortages. The EU is talking about bringing back chip design and manufacturing to Europe. And the Danish microchip industry talks about a great shortage of qualified labor to design chips and test whether they work correctly before sending them to production (chip verification).

In collaboration with the industry, DTU Compute has just arranged the first DTU Chip Day - a kind of career day where students could meet Danish companies working with chip design and chip verification, network, and hear about DTU's programmes.

An overwhelming number of DTU students found their way to the event. With over 165 entrants, the hall was packed during the many short presentations and a challenging 'checkup quiz', and the 20 participating companies were busy talking to students who visited the stands outside.

The microchip industry lacks people

The overall message was that the Danish microchip industry lacks young people and there are plenty of job opportunities. This speaks directly to one of the participants, Kasper Hesse, who is working on his master's degree in computer science at DTU to become a chip designer and has a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering.

“I have known that there are Danish companies that work with chips and chip design, but I do not think we have known who they were, where they were, and how much they need us. So it's really cool to get a list of companies that are interested in us, see what they're working on and how we can help them. Previously, it may have been a bit muddy what should happen after the study, now it makes really good sense,” says Kasper Hesse.

One of the companies is Oticon, which produces hearing aids. Here, chip designer Axel Bregnsbo believes that the industry has neglected to reach out to young people, as things started to go better after the financial crisis, which cost jobs and companies had to close.

"The DTU Chip Day shows me that there is a large industry in Denmark with chip design. I'm even surprised at how big. And the overwhelming interest testifies that many students are curious about whether chip design could be a career path for them. So I think the future looks promising for Danish chip design."
Professor Martin Schoeberl, Embedded Systems Engineering at DTU Compute

"It's great with a Chip Day. Because we need the attention of young people, so more people choose electronics as education. It is hard to get employees, and in the end, it can affect companies,"  says Axel Bregnsbo.

Europe must get started - and Denmark

DTU Chip Day was actually planned to run already in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. So Professor Martin Schoeberl from the section Embedded Systems Engineering at DTU Compute was a very happy man.

“The DTU Chip Day shows me that there is a large industry in Denmark with chip design. I'm even surprised at how big. And the overwhelming interest testifies that many students are curious about whether chip design could be a career path for them. So I think the future looks promising for Danish chip design.”

DTU Compute has already increased the department's focus on hardware. Researchers are working on developing a chip for accelerating AI with low power consumption, and they are in the process of developing a completely new design language (Chisel) together with the University of California, Berkeley. And this spring, 12 students are following a special course at DTU Compute, where they will design the first microchip with the help of open-source tools from Google.

Deputy Director of the department, Professor Jan Madsen, believes that the attendance at DTU Chip Day shows good timing.

"Europe wants to be less dependent on East Asian countries and be resilient in technology, including chip design and production so that we can lift some of the production ourselves, and we have been able to do that before. We've just outsourced most of it. Now we have to (re)rebuild the industry, and here the education of students is an important step."