Brian Zimmer

Office: Berkeley Wireless Research Center, 2108 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA
Resume: (Download pdf)

I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. I received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Technology Management from the University of California, Davis in June 2010 and an M.S. in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley in June 2012. My current research interests are in energy efficient processor design for deeply-scaled technologies. I am co-advised by Professor Bora Nikolic and Professor Krste Asanovic and am a member of the BWRC and ASPIRE.


I am currently researching different methods to increase energy efficiency of SRAM arrays at the device, circuit, and architecture level. I have taped out three different chips in a 28nm process, and have experience with the entire ASIC design flow--custom design (completely implemented four different SRAM macros), library characterization, synthesis, place-and-route, timing signoff, DRC/LVS, PCB design, and measurement.


  • Thomas, O.; Zimmer, B.; Pelloux-Prayer, B.; Planes, N.; Akyel, K.-C.; Ciampolini, L.; Flatresse, P.; Nikolic, B., "6T SRAM design for wide voltage range in 28nm FDSOI," SOI Conference (SOI), 2012 IEEE International, Oct. 2012
  • Brian Zimmer, Seng Oon Toh, Huy Vo, Yunsup Lee, Olivier Thomas, Krste Asanović, and Borivoje Nikolić, "SRAM Assist Techniques for Operation in a Wide Voltage Range in 28-nm CMOS", IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems-II, 59(12), December 2012. PDF
  • Brian Zimmer, "Resilient Design Methodology for Energy-Efficient SRAM"
    M.S. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, May 2012. PDF



University of California, Berkeley (2010-)

Ph.D. (expected) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, June 2012
Co-advisors: Borivoje Nikolic and Krste Asanovic


University of California, Davis (2006 - 2010)

B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Emphasis in Digital Electronics), June 2012
Minor in Technology Management, UC Davis Graduate School of Management

  • Overall GPA: 4.0/4.0
  • Awarded M.S. Ghausi Medal, the highest honor awarded for scholastic excellence to a student earning a bachelor’s degree in the College of Engineering.


National University of Singapore, Singapore (Fall 2008)

Exchange student, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering



NVIDIA Corporation, Circuits Research Group, Intern (Summer 2012)

Analyzed methods to improve SRAM minimum operational and retention voltage, and designed write assist circuitry. Three patent applications.


Owner/ Web Developer, (2003-2010)

Entirely self-taught freelance web developer, specializing in PHP content management systems. Completed more than 300 projects with over 200 different clients while studying as a full time student. Activities included XHTML/CSS markup, PHP programming, database design, graphic design, consulting, negotiating with CEO’s, marketing, and project management.


CS250: VLSI Systems Design

Graduate Student Instructor, Fall 2011

Developed processor testing infrastructure and ASIC tool flow scripts for a new experimental RTL language called Chisel. Led laboratories where students designed and implemented 5-state RISC processors using an ASIC tool flow. Held weekly discussions and helped advise class research projects.(Course website), (5.0/5.0 teaching rating)

EE241: Advanced Digital Integrated Circuits

Graduate Student Instructor, Spring 2013

Created labs that taught students how to use an ASIC tools to create an final LVS/DRC clean design, perform parasitic extraction and power measurement, and design/layout/characterize custom standard cells. (Course website), (4.7/5.0 teaching rating)


  • EE140 - Analog ICs
  • EE240 - Advanced Analog ICs
  • EE241 - Advanced Digital ICs
  • EE244 - Algorithms for CAD
  • CS250 - VLSI Systems Design
  • CS252 - Graduate Computer Architecture
  • STA201A - Advanced Intro. to Probability
  • STA201B - Advanced Intro. to Statistics



All of my dotfiles (including configuration and plugins for Vim and Bash) are hosted on GitHub.


I grew up in Roseville, CA. I have a twin brother Michael Zimmer, who happens to also be pursuing a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in EECS working on embedded systems.

Outside of school my interests include cooking (and eating), reading, and anything athletic. In high school I ran track and cross country and finished with a PR of a 16:30 5K. My real athletic passion now is ultimate frisbee . In college, I played for the UC Davis Club Ultimate Frisbee team for all four years. In grad school, I practice with the UC Berkeley Club team occasionally. During the summer, I play on various club teams.

I love travelling and have been to: England, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Belguim, the Netherlands, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. As a junior, I studied abroad at the National University of Singapore, which gave me the opportunity to travel all over Southeast Asia, go scuba diving, and eat plenty of amazing (and strange!) food.

In June 2011, I married the love of my life Anjali Zimmer, who is also a Ph.D. student at Berkeley studying Molecular and Cellular Biology (with an emphasis on genetics). Someday I hope to understand what she does... We met in the dorms freshman year at UC Davis and life has been amazing ever since! We live together in North Berkeley, and in our elusive free time we garden, cook, visit family, and hang out with friends.