IC Design, Test & Validation

Advanced Circuit Emulation

As the Integrated Circuit becomes more ubiquitous in our daily lives, reaching 5300B in worldwide sales and one trillion units in 2015, the needs to create more devices and shorten the development time to market continue to increase. Traditional IC design techniques used are to simulate using software some elements of chip design prior to
manufacturing, then use hardware debug techniques to verify operation. Increasingly with complex circuits, this approach is inadequate to verify correctness of the circuit prior to manufacturing, and costs of generating a die for testing are increasing as process
technologies get more complex, reaching into the millions of US Dollars per component.


An alternative technique is to emulate advanced logic and analog circuits using Field Programmable Gate Arrays or similar programmable logic ahead of manufacture, thus saving effort in debug.

Research interests in this area include FPGA and board modeling accuracy of IC circuits; board design technologies for rapid prototyping; building validation stimulus patterns to test circuits; correlation of emulation results to real device behavior; correlation of
emulation data to simulation and debug validation data; new software algorithms to reduce post silicon debug test requirements based on emulation results.

IC Design Automation

The Integrated Circuit has become a ubiquitous technology that impacts our daily lives in countless ways, from computers to transportation systems, building automation to smartphones, home appliances to entertainment. The worldwide semiconductor industry
is expected to top 5300B in 2015 with more growth to come, and the number of devices is expected to exceed one trillion. With more and more chips being designed every year, the need for design tools and automation to aid in reducing the development cost and time to
market of devices is ever present in the industry.

The design complexity of these devices is increasing, as Moore’s Law continues to deliver advances in manufacturing scale — and the
tools used for design must keep pace. Research interests in this area include advanced digital and analog modeling; design for test and design for manufacturing circuit automation; automatic place and route; optimization of existing systems for performance and cost; automatic insertion of test and design rules; automation for new process technologies; creation of layout and on-die standard protocols for speedy integration; automated pre-silicon validation.

Advanced Testing

Development and innovation of new test methodology and solution for enabling the
exploration of new technologies in electronics, telecommunication, wearable and
renewable energy.
Key areas of research and development include:
– high-speed (>10Gbps) and ultra high capacity networks (5G, 802.1 lad and beyond)
next generation wireless standards
– high-speed digital interfaces and signal/power integrity analysis (eg. PCIe Gen4, Multi-
gigabit Transceiver, Thunderbolt, HDMI and beyond)
– wireless charging and low power new field communication (eg. A4WP, Smart NFC,
ZigBee/6LoWPAN)
– RF/Microwave signal generation and analysis, high dynamic range and very low-level (<-
50dBm) power measurement, mmWave (>50GHz) signal
switching/splitting/transmission
– data acquisition and measurement technologies
– Low power high-speed data conversion (analog to digital, digital to analog), low noise
analog signal conditioning/amplification/filtering, digital signal processing algorithm
and hardware