Home Tech Intel “sends” FPGA talents “robbed”

Intel “sends” FPGA talents “robbed”


FPGAs are not as well-known to most people as CPUs and GPUs, but FPGAs are the key platform for functional verification of these well-known chips before mass production. FPGA’s high performance, low latency, repeatable programming and low energy consumption are also the preferred platform for innovative applications. However, the high threshold for FPGA use greatly restricts the development of the FPGA industry. This week, Intel and International Data Corporation (IDC) jointly released the “FPGA Industry Development Status and Talent Cultivation Research Report” (hereinafter referred to as FPGA Talent Report), which pointed out that: Chinese companies generally lack FPGA technical talents, and the lack of talents has become the primary factor in the development of the FPGA industry. Intel saw this problem as early as 2018. At the end of 2018, Intel’s largest FPGA innovation center in the world settled in Chongqing. The goal is to cultivate FPGA talents, build FPGA ecology, and accelerate innovation for China. By 2019, Li Desheng, managing director of Intel’s China Strategic Cooperation and Innovation Business Department and head of Intel’s Innovation Accelerator, clearly stated: “We hope to work with our ecological partners to train more than 10,000 FPGA professionals in China within three years. personnel.” In 2020, Zhang Rui, general manager of Intel FPGA China Innovation Center, said, “The Intel FPGA China Innovation Center series has published 4 books and has been on sale, 2 books are under review, and 2 books are in preparation. FPGA course video learning volume It has exceeded 10,000 times, and more than 5,000 trainees have signed up for the training.” Zhang Rui, general manager of Intel FPGA China Innovation Center This week, Intel launched a special training and delivery cooperation for FPGA talents with many ecological partners in the FPGA Innovation Center, and the FPGA talents trained are very popular. Why did Intel start to “send” FPGA talents when Intel’s FPGA “Ten Thousand Talents Program” goal was reached more than half, and the FPGA series of books were over-published? How scarce is China’s FPGA talents? A serious shortage of FPGA talents above the intermediate level Compared with CPU and GPU, FPGA market is much smaller, but the market scale continues to expand. IDC predicts that by 2024, the global accelerated server market will reach 28.4 billion U.S. dollars, and the global FPGA market will reach 7.155 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, FPGA will occupy 34% of the main market in the network and communication segment by 2024, and at the same time, FPGA acceleration servers will account for 28.3% of the global acceleration server market. The IDC report points out that the compound annual growth rate of the global accelerated server market from 2019 to 2024 is 19%. The higher compound annual growth rate mainly comes from three types of industries. One is industries that require higher information transmission rates, such as communication networks, industrial control, and smart transportation; the other is industries that require higher information processing capabilities. Such as intelligent computing, economics and finance, medical equipment, Internet information industry, etc.; the first category is industries in the stage of innovation/incubation/experimental demonstration, such as high-performance computing in the fields of robots, drones, aerospace, scientific research and engineering. The FPGA talent report points out more specifically the industry sectors with greater development space. Electronic testing equipment, communications and networks, aerospace, and transportation have more than 59% of the development space. Smart logistics, medical equipment, energy and power, e-commerce, games Development, economics and finance also have great potential. The market demand is huge, but talents hinder the development of the FPGA industry. The FPGA talent report pointed out that the current FPGA talent supply in the market can only better meet the demand for junior talents, and more than 70% of the interviewed companies or institutions believe that there is a serious shortage of engineers above the intermediate level, and 63.4% of the companies indicated that they will significantly increase in the future. Recruitment of FPGA-related personnel. Among them, the types of FPGA talents most urgently needed by enterprises are FPGA design talents, basic development, FPGA verification, and peripheral hardware. These types of talents account for more than 10% of the demand for talents. There is also a greater demand for professional theory, software development, and document maintenance talents. The lack of talent also reflects the challenges faced by FPGA talent training. In the IDC report, 60% of the interviewees believe that the lack of a training system, difficulty in satisfying student training, and the disconnect between theory and practice are the biggest challenges faced by colleges in training FPGA talents. Others Challenges include high learning thresholds, long learning cycles, and lack of teachers. Generally speaking, FPGA talent development faces three dilemmas. The first is the training threshold. FPGA application R&D needs to master both development knowledge and application domain knowledge. The second is the training cycle. FPGA R&D requires a long process from entry to proficiency. The third is occupational characteristics. FPGA R&D practitioners need higher energy input. Confined to FPGA development for a long time, the knowledge system is difficult to expand. Intel sends FPGA talents As the world’s leading FPGA company, Intel is naturally well aware of the plight of FPGA development. Therefore, before the recent upsurge of chip talent training, it has already started the cultivation of chip talents and has begun to export FPGA talents to many ecological partners. Zhang Rui announced the latest results at Intel FPGA Innovation Center this week. At present, the Innovation Center has 9 series of 46 courses and has trained more than 5,000 people. He has co-created an FPGA talent training system and established joint laboratories with universities across the country, and published 10 volumes. Intel FPGA China Innovation Center series of books, of which 3 were shortlisted for the National Thirteenth Five-Year Plan, filling the gaps in China’s FPGA+AI interdisciplinary textbooks. In response to the challenge of the lack of a training system for FPGA talent training, Intel FPGA China Innovation Center has established a talent training and certification system, which are: elementary, intermediate, advanced software direction, advanced hardware direction, and expert level. Each level corresponds to a different course system. “Different from the chip talents cultivated in schools, the talents we cultivate are more application-oriented. Compared with the training institutions that train application-oriented talents, our curriculum system is very complete and systematic. This is why we have spent a lot of energy publishing 10 This textbook, organize the reasons for the courseware. Our curriculum system can not only cultivate introductory and junior talents, but also help intermediate and advanced talents to further improve. Another very important point is that our starting point for training talents is not for profit, but It is to cultivate ecology and stimulate innovation.” Zhang Rui said. However, the establishment of the curriculum system of the Intel FPGA Innovation Center is actually constantly improving in the process of exploration. Zhang Rui shared an example. At the beginning of their online course, many students and teachers’ feedback was difficult to understand. After accepting suggestions from teachers and students, they re-recorded and uploaded all online course videos so that students can Get started easily with zero FPGA threshold. Compatible with the systematic curriculum system, there is also a complete assessment and certification method. The primary level is online written examination, the intermediate level is online written examination + experimental evaluation, the advanced level is online written examination + single project experimental evaluation + interview, and the expert level is online. Written examination + comprehensive project test + interview. “The reason why our certification is so complicated is that FPGA is a system engineering and requires hands-on ability. As long as it involves environmental support, it can only be assessed offline. In 2020, more than 70 colleges and enterprises across the country successfully obtained the certificate. In the future, we hope to cooperate with universities to further promote this certification and gradually become an authoritative certification.” Zhang Rui explained. As for the other big challenge of FPGA talent training-the disconnection between theory and practice, it is also a challenge for talent training in the entire chip industry. Intel has given full play to the advantages of chip providers and provided online and offline opportunities in the process of FPGA talent training. Practical training. For example, online training courses for colleges and universities are license plate recognition projects based on HLS technology, and offline training projects are more abundant, including FPGA edge detection, HLS-based handwriting recognition, license plate recognition, etc. If it is a three-month full-time trainee, not only will the 15-person small class mode be adopted, there will also be a lot of practical training to improve the practical ability of the trainees. Li Chenxin, a fresh graduate of the full-time training course (Phase 3), told Leifeng.com, “When I first started learning the basic language of FPGA, I didn’t have a deep conception of its parallel processing characteristics. Later, the project displayed by the LED light gave me a deep understanding. The FPGA signal parallel processing. In addition, the mode of small class teaching can radiate to every student.” Leifeng.com learned that the 3-month off-the-job training course is to cultivate the compound talents needed by the company. It is divided into five stages, from hardware to software, from theory to practical projects, from professional knowledge to employment guidance, to ensure the quality of talent training. At the same time, it outputs the applied talents needed by the enterprise. For experienced engineers in enterprises, Intel FPGA Innovation Center can customize one-to-three-month courses with enterprises, and use Intel’s training platform to help engineers improve their skills. Of course, from the certification system of Intel FPGA Innovation Center, we can also see the practical ability of FPGA talents cultivated by Intel. Now that many talents have been trained, why do you talk about talent transfer until more than half of the talent training goal is reached? Zhang Rui explained: “We have received a lot of positive feedback from our graduates in the first two terms. In addition, many employers have asked me to reserve talents. With these large amounts of positive feedback, we are confident to continue. Of course, we also hope that Through the launch ceremony of talent transfer, more employers know that we have cultivated a lot of FPGA talents, and hope that more students or engineers who want to enter this industry can improve themselves and become the talents needed by enterprises.” It is reported that at the special job fair on the day of the talent transfer ceremony of Intel FPGA China Innovation Center, all trainees of the training class received employment letters of intent signed by at least one company on the spot, and the trainees received employment letters of intent signed by multiple companies. These companies include Intel’s FPGA Innovation Center’s first batch of cooperative companies, Wright Cloud Technology Co., Ltd., Junlong Technology Co., Ltd., Ruisuo Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., Radium Intelligent System Co., Ltd., and Chuling Information Technology Co. The company, Yuxin Micro Technology Co., Ltd., Putai Information Technology Co., Ltd. and other advanced electronic technology companies. summary Talents are the core factor restricting the development of my country’s chip industry. Therefore, the cultivation of talents has become a hot topic after the rapid development of the domestic chip industry for a few years. As a chip company, Intel has no obligation to train chip talents for the industry, but the lack of talents restricts the development of the FPGA industry, so Intel started talent training for FPGA ecology and innovation in 2018. Intel is a top expert in the chip field, but lacks experience in chip talent training. The Intel FPGA Innovation Center, which has trained more than 5,000 FPGA talents, proves that Intel has figured out a way to train FPGA talents, and its popularity in training talents shows market acceptance and recognition. The product technology is leading and the talents are ready, what can be expected next is the ecological and innovative progress of Intel FPGA.Lei Feng