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Logo: Institute of Microelectronic Systems
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: Institute of Microelectronic Systems
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INVENT a CHIP

INVENT a CHIP is a nationwide promotion of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies e.V.) for microelectronics in schools. The yearly competition is open to pupils of grade 9 to 13.

Since the first competition in 2002, already 20.000 students have participated in the first stage of the competition and 6.000 students have applied for the second competition stage, which is the implementation of an own chip idea.

The competition

In the first of two competition stages, a questionnaire of microelectronic related themes has to be answered. From February to the end of March, 20 problems with an annual changing competition topic have to be handled. In this stage of the competition, a special school prize is awarded. In addition to the answered questionnaire, it is possible to apply with a separate chip idea for the second stage of the competition.


Twelve teams of up to four people have the possibility to realize their chip idea in this practical stage. Over a period of four months, a FPGA-based implementation of the chip idea has to be elaborated. The necessary skills for working with the FPGA prototyping board are acquired in a workshop of three days in Hannover at the Institute for Microelectronic Systems. The FPGA prototyping board and the associated development software are provided to all participants for the workshop and also for the practical stage by the IMS.
The jury, consisting of Dr. Helmut Bossy (BMBF), Dr.-Ing. Joachim Schneider (President of VDE), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Blume (Institute of Microelectronic Systems) and Dr.-Ing. Hans Heinz Zimmer (VDE CEO), honors the winning team after the end of the practical stage. In addition to the opportunity to present the winning projects at the annual VDE congress and various industrial fairs, prizes up to € 3,000 are awarded.

Throughout the complete competition, the Team of the Institute of Microelectronic Systems at Leibniz Universität Hannover will support the participants in scientific issues.

Offers for teachers

Interested teachers can participate on a two day workshop to get more information about the basics of FPGA-based hardware designs. The focuses during the workshop are the basics of FPGA-based hardware design complemented with several practical exercises to acquire first skills in working with the FPGA-based prototyping board and the associated development software. By participating in the workshop, teachers will have the possibility to rent a special FPGA case to implement FPGA-based designs at schools. This FPGA cases contains some FPGA development boards, the development software and some examples in order to enable a rapid entry into the FPGA-based hardware design. This offer will be available at the beginning of 2015. Furthermore, the workshop can be considered as an official teacher training.

Further informationen

You can find further information about INVENT a CHIP and the competition documents on the homepage of VDE and the IMS INVENT a CHIP online platform.