ECE former student receives prestigious CAREER award

Shiyan HuA former Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University recently received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.

Dr. Shiyan Hu, formerly in the Computer Engineering and Systems group, now serves as assistant professor at Michigan Technological University in its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He won the highly competitive award for his research titled, “CAREER: Integrated Research and Education in Physical Design Automation for Nanotechnology and VLSI Technology Co-Design.”

The CAREER award is given to someone who, “exemplifies the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Under the advising of Dr. Jiang Hu, Hu received his Ph.D. at Texas A&M in 2008 in computer engineering. He focuses his research in the field of computer-aided design VLSI circuits and embedded systems.

VLSI circuits can be found in smart phones, home appliances, personal computers and virtually any other modern technology. These devices make extensive use of nanotechnology, which involves bundling thousands of tiny copper wires to wire transistors. This collection of wires will often not have a greater diameter than the size of a single hair.

Unfortunately, the small cross-sectional area of these wires creates a large resistance, which makes the interconnect delay the limiting factor for the timing of the whole chip. Hu has devoted his research to making these chips perform increasingly faster through decreasing the interconnect delay. He has sought out the use of materials such as carbon nanotubes and grapheme nano-ribbons that will make this more of a reality in the coming years.

The CAREER award will fund a five-year project headed by Hu to develop ground breaking physical layout co-design methodology for next-generation integrated circuits. His research will design closure for circuits whose timing cannot be closed with traditional physical synthesis. This has exceeding potential to utilize leading nanotechnologies into practical circuit design, and it would revolutionize the prevailing circuit design paradigm.

Hu has accumulated numerous accolades throughout his career including serving as guest editors for IEEE, Transactions on Industrial Informatics, ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems and VLSI Design Journal. He also serves as the technical program committee subcommittee chairs or co-chairs for IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference 2014, IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design 2011, IEEE International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design 2011, and for many other committees.