U Toronto Team Wins 2008 Innovate Canada Competition

A team of students from the University of Toronto took first place in the IEEE "Innovate Canada Program" contest by creating an object-recognition system. The university competition challenges students to use embedded processors, a variety of custom field programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware modules, and combined hardware and software co-design methods to create embedded systems. The student teams worked with Altera Cyclone II FPGA-based development kits and Impulse C-to-FPGA development tools. They also received engineering support from both companies.

Second prize went to the Ottawa University team, which created an automatic fuzzy logic generator, including compiler extensions, that enhances the instruction set of the open-source LEON embedded processor.

Third place was a tie. A Carleton University team created a hardware implementation of a wavelet-based image-compression algorithm. A University of Saskatchewan team created a hardware system for Ethernet transmission of an MPEG stream from the National Television System Committee (NTSC) standard composite (yellow RCA).

Honorable mention went to another Carleton University team, which created a heart-rate estimator using phonocardiogram (PCG) signals to automate unattended unobtrusive heart-rate estimation.

"The University of Toronto team picked a challenging problem that required a significant level of innovation," said Alfredo Herrera, the organizing IEEE chair. "Their design methods show a good understanding of engineering fundamentals, and the resulting application appears highly extendable. The analysis and presentation of their results were professional."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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