Robotic Car Developer Chris Urmson of Carnegie Mellon to Keynote at Magma’s MUSIC Users Conference

Technology leader behind “Boss” – winner of DARPA’s Urban Challenge

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 14, 2008 –– Magma® Design Automation, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of semiconductor design software, today announced that one of the leading figures in robot navigation will deliver the keynote address at next month’s MUSIC (Magma Users Summit on Integrated Circuits), Magma’s users conference. Chris Urmson is director of technology for Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing and will appear at MUSIC Feb. 28 to discuss “Boss,” the autonomous vehicle his team developed. Boss was demonstrated at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and won the $2 million 2007 DARPA Challenge.

“Boss is the result of a year and a half of focused effort by a dedicated team,” Urmson said. “Speaking at MUSIC is an opportunity for me to share some insight about their work with designers who understand what it’s like to have to develop something great when you can only imagine it.” Urmson’s keynote address is expected to include details of the DARPA Urban Challenge, describe Boss’ overall system architecture and highlight the vehicle’s many component technologies. Boss is a Chevy Tahoe with more than 300,000 lines of code, capable of autonomously navigating in town and in traffic. It is equipped with more than a dozen lasers, cameras and radar systems to view the world. It was demonstrated on NBC’s “Today” show at CES last week – to view “Today” show personality Al Roker riding in Boss go online at

“The use of semiconductors to improve safety, entertainment, navigation and driving automation in automotive applications is rapidly increasing,” said Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO of Magma Design Automation. “I am sure Dr. Urmson’s discussion of the challenges and solutions in building such an extremely complex automobile will be fascinating to the Magma user community, which is very familiar with building exciting, leading-edge applications.”

Urmson will deliver his MUSIC keynote Feb. 28. To register or submit a paper for the conference visit Magma online at

DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) designed the Urban Challenge to develop autonomous driving skills for city streets, eventually leading to cars that drive themselves. The race required automated vehicles to travel 60 miles of streets in a mock urban setting. To succeed, vehicles must drive completely on their own – without drivers or remote control. Cars must stay in their lanes, negotiate intersections, drive in traffic and follow rules of the road – with only computers at the wheel.

“Boss is a great example of how pushing technology can improve our lives,” Urmson said. “Human payoffs from this technology include improved safety and an enhanced driving experience.”

Urmson was previously a robotics research scientist with SAIC and an adjunct faculty member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. He developed several robotic navigation architectures and software systems currently in use by Carnegie Mellon University, NASA JPL and NASA Ames. He has made significant contributions to robot development with an emphasis on software development and system integration. He earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba. Urmson has earned a variety of corporate and academic awards, including being named a Siebel Scholar, and receiving technology innovation awards from Boeing Phantom Works and SAIC.

MUSIC – Magma Users Summit on Integrated Circuits – provides a forum for Magma users to exchange ideas, discuss common problems and explore solutions related to the design and manufacturing of integrated circuits, as well as offering users an opportunity to meet with Magma staff and product experts. The MUSIC program covers the key elements of semiconductor design, from system-level design to tapeout. For more information on MUSIC visit Magma online at

About Magma
Magma’s software for designing integrated circuits (ICs) is used to create complex, high-performance chips required in cellular telephones, electronic games, WiFi, MP3 players, DVD/digital video, networking, automotive electronics and other electronic applications. Magma’s EDA software for IC implementation, analysis, physical verification, circuit simulation and characterization is recognized as embodying the best in semiconductor technology, enabling the world’s top chip companies to “Design Ahead of the Curve”™ while reducing design time and costs. Magma is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with offices around the world. Magma’s stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at

Contact Information

Magma Design Automation Inc.

1650 Technology Drive
San Jose, CA, 95110

tele: 408.565.7500
fax: 408.565.7501

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • TwitThis
Extension Media websites place cookies on your device to give you the best user experience. By using our websites, you agree to placement of these cookies and to our Privacy Policy. Please click here to accept.