Vlsi Circuits And Systems Group


VLSI Circuits and Systems are at the foundation of much of modern technology, ranging from consumer products, to business, communication, transportation, defense and most other aspects of contemporary society.
However as systems become increasingly complex, following the well-known Moore's Law, various challenges arise.  Our group explores a number of these challenges, leveraging several common research methodologies and philosophies.

The VCSG group uses a combination of state-of-the-art CAD tools from both academia and industry to design and analyze novel circuits and circuit models and their impact on higher level systems across a range of semiconductor technologies. Test chips are designed, fabricated and tested to verify novel circuits, calibrate simulations  and obtain measurements that require physical implementations. Motivating applications for our work include signal processing, embedded security, wireless communications, graphics and enterprise computing.

Specific problems currently under study include the following:

  • Interconnects play an increasing role in all electronic and information systems, allowing fast and high bandwidth communication both on-chip and off-chip.

  • Synchronization of systems with robust and adaptive clocking systems are a very important aspect of the most advanced multi-core microprocessors.

  • 3D technologies are emerging and present great opportunities but also new challenges in interconnect, thermal issues, mixed-technologies and power delivery.

  • Power consumption continues to be a challenge in battery-powered, wall-powered and now even wirelessly-powered systems.  Increased power density and especially device leakage, leads to increasing temperature which must be sensed and mitigated both at design-time and run-time.

  • Side-channel Leakage and On-Chip Monitors: Power consumption, timing information, temperature, faults and electromagnetic radiation all can be monitored to optimize the system as well as to attack and divulge secret information in the system.

  • Finally, computation and communication  in the presence of uncertain manufacturing process, voltage noise and temperature has become a primary design issue.