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May 10-12, 200
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Monday May 11 Lunch Keynote: 12:30pm 2:00pm

"Design Tools for Emerging Technologies"
Professor Jacob White, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


Integrated circuit (IC) designers make use of suites of tools in order to produce designs that routinely perform as expected when manufactured. This remarkable predictability has persisted for nearly two decades, even as fabrication technology has evolved dramatically, because the transistor has remained the fundamental building block and fabrication technology has narrowly focused on making good transistors. For emerging applications of micro- and nanotechnology; such as photonics, sensing, chemical processing, biology, and medicine; there is far more technological diversity and therefore transistor-centric design tools are of limited use. The lack of tools to aid in developing manufacturable designs in emerging technologies has led to near decade long delays between prototype demonstration and available product, and the result has been a stifling of innovation.

One strategy for reducing these innovation-inhibiting delays is to develop algorithmic approaches that can start with first principles based descriptions of novel nanotechnology, and then rapidly and reliably synthesize manufacturable designs. Design tools are evolving this direction, with new extremely efficient yet customizable physical simulators, automatic parameterized low-order model extraction, and ever improving algorithms for robust optimization--new techniques that generate manufacturable designs by simultaneously optimizing system performance and robustness to manufacturing variations. In this talk we give a few examples of recent successes from several research groups, and also point to unresolved challenges, in developing design tools for the rapidly expanding landscape in emerging nanotechnology.


Jacob White is currently the C. H. Green Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his S.M. and Ph. D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked at the IBM T. J. Watson research center from 1985 to 1987, was the Analog Devices Career Development Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1989, was a 1988 Presidential Young Investigator, was an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design from 1992 until 1996, the chair of the International Conference on Computer-Aided Design in 1999 and became a fellow of the IEEE in 2008. Professor White is best known for supervising the development of the interconnect analysis programs Fastcap and Fasthenry, and for his collaboration on the development of the algorithms in Spectre and SpectreRF. His current research interests are in numerical algorithms for problems in simulation and optimization of circuits, interconnect, nanophotonics, bioMEMS and NEMS, biomolecules, and network models of biological systems.