EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Friday, April 02, 2004
521 Cory Hall, Hogan Room
1:00-2:00 p.m.

Professor Dennis Sylvester

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


IC Design at a Crossroads: Enabling Low-Power and Robust Computing in Nanometer CMOS




The future of digital circuit design is being threatened by two major stumbling blocks - increasing power dissipation levels and degradation of robustness or manufacturability. This talk addresses these two topics individually, and then describes work at their interface with the goal of enabling low-power and robust computing in sub-100nm CMOS technologies. Successfully attacking both power and robustness requires coordination across many levels of design, including devices, circuits, electronic design automation (EDA), and architecture. I focus on design and EDA techniques that often leverage technology-based solutions to the power and robustness issues. Examples include novel device-level Vth assignments in global bus structures to achieve total power reduction at tight delay constraints and the use of very small gate length biasing to simultaneously achieve low leakage, high manufacturability, and reduced leakage variability due to process variation.


Dennis Sylvester received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. His dissertation research was recognized with the David J. Sakrison Memorial Prize as the most outstanding research in the UC-Berkeley EECS department. After working as a Sr. R&D Engineer in the Advanced Technology Group of Synopsys, he is now an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His areas of research include low-power circuit design and design automation, on-chip interconnect modeling, and variability-aware circuit approaches. He received an NSF CAREER award, the ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, and the 1938E award for outstanding teaching and mentoring at the University of Michigan, which is the highest award given to junior faculty in the College of Engineering.