August 23, 2022—This week, Intel announced that Dr. Amir Capua, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, is the winner of its SyllaBoost Program and awarded him a NIS 100,000 grant on behalf of his department. This program, now in its second year, promotes links between industry and higher education. It aims to integrate innovation into teaching using new learning technologies to improve students’ learning experience and facilitate their entry into the employment market, especially in the hi-tech sector. A key factor in HU’s win was revamping its master’s degree program in electrical engineering and applied physics to include a course called “Backend.” There, students designed a chip “from code to silicon” using RISC-V architecture.
Dr. Amir Capua, Faculty Member, HU’s Department of Applied Physics, shared, “the chip industry in Israel is flourishing, as hi-tech giants open new development centers. At the same time, there is a severe lack of engineers at all levels. In our role to prepare the next generation of engineers, Hebrew University’s curriculum for electrical engineering and applied physics is attentive to market needs. We provide our students with the most up-to-date studies, including the skills and knowledge they will need when they complete their studies. It’s is a complex field, with technology changing at a dizzying speed.” Capua continued, “in our proposal to the Intel’s SyllaBoost Program, we went deep to equip our graduates with the final and critical stage of chip design: the backend stage, just before a chip is rolled out on the most advanced production lines.”
Thanks to support for the new syllabus by HU’s management, headed by VP and CEO Mr. Yishai Fraenkel, an industrial working environment based on cloud infrastructure was created for students. This allows for continuous updating of course content, distance learning for students, and tech support from an external company. HU plans to expand this infrastructure to other VLSI courses offered in microelectronics specialization, enabling more students to gain hands-on experience with the most up-to-date technologies and methodologies used in the chip-making industry.
Mariana Waksman, Head of Academic and Education Relations at Intel Israel, shared, “our collaboration with Hebrew University is important to us and will continue on in the future. HU’s new course will benefit not only students in its Department of Applied Physics but also the chip design industry at large—a growing industry in Israel and particularly in Jerusalem. We are committed to advancing academic teaching in all areas of chip design and development, and will continue to strengthen Israel’s academia by supporting and conducting strategic partnerships with various universities.”