Yahya Yassin has been awarded a prize of 15,000 NOK (~1,850 euros) by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) for his thesis on an 'Ultra Low Power Application Specific Instruction-set Processor Design for a Cardiac Beat Detector Algorithm'. Yahya's thesis was based on research he performed from January to June 2009 while working at Holst Centre.

Holst Centre's undergraduate program gives masters and PhD students an opportunity to make real contributions to the technologies being developed in its programs. Working within the Ultra low power DSP group at Holst Centre, Yahya designed a low power processor to run an algorithm for detecting heartbeat disorders.

Tough deadlines
The prestigious NTNU award has some very challenging requirements, for the submission of thesis and a strict deadline within which the student must complete his thesis. Yahya also faced tough deadlines at Holst Centre, having to develop the processor from scratch in just six months.
"I hoped to learn some hardware design, but was able to go much further than I could ever have imagined," said Yahya. "My colleagues at Holst Centre really triggered my motivation and made me realize that with the right motivation, anything is possible."

Well deserved award
"Yahya was a very hard worker. He occasionally had to be reminded to go home at the end of a long evening", said Jos Hulzink, Yahya's mentor on the project. "His design work will be used to develop a real solution and some of the suggestions he made will be used to further optimize the software algorithm. He did an excellent job here at Holst Centre and the prize reflects this."

Yahya was presented with a plaque and the check at the NTNU Electronics and Telecom day in Trondheim in January 2010 and celebrated his success with a fine bottle of champagne. Having completed his degree, he is now working as a hardware design engineer at Atmel.