SystemX

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
Rethinking Analog-Digital Boundary from Circuit to System Level towards Reconfigurability of Everything
Abstract / Description: 

The trend of modern electronic systems, such as wireless and wireline applications, demands increasing reconfigurability, bandwidth, and dynamic range, but low power and cost. On the other hand, the technology scaling is slowing down its pace and incurs significant cost particularly for analog designs. Those factors have driven the design community to pursue both new circuit and system architectures towards unprecedented flexibility, performance, and low cost. Wouldn't it be nice to have an electronic system that can be arbitrarily configured based on user's needs? In this talk, we will examine several such attempts recently demonstrated by our group members that show the importance/effectiveness of re-thinking the analog-digital boundary in both circuit and system level towards this goal. Several initial silicon prototypes achieve encouraging performance and flexibility in comparison with the state of the arts. More importantly, they tout the potential for many future extensions, and hopefully allow a different thinking for analog-digital interface circuit architecture to transform future electronic system designs.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
Memory - the N3XT Frontier
Abstract / Description: 

The adoption of Flash in the memory hierarchy (albeit on a separate chip from the processor) inspired the exploration of computing architectures that capitalize on the salient features of Flash: non-volatility and high density. At the same time, new types of non-volatile memory have emerged that can easily be integrated on-chip with the microprocessor cores because they use a different set of materials and require different device fabrication technologies from Flash. Some of them can be programmed and read quickly; others can have very high data storage density. Importantly, all of these memories are free from the limitations of Flash — that is, low endurance, need for high voltage supply, slow write speed and cumbersome erase procedure. Coincidentally, these new memories store information using new types of physics that do not rely on storing charge on a capacitor as is the case for SRAM, DRAM and Flash

I will give an overview of the "new" memory technologies that are being explored currently in industry and in academia: spin-transfer torque magnetic memory, resistive switching metal oxide memory, conductive bridge memory, phase change memory. I will go over the fabrication process, essential device characteristics, and potential applications. To facilitate a connection with circuit designers, a compact model for RRAM has been developed and made available to the public. I will describe our efforts to explore device size scaling below 10 nm as well as 3D stacking of RRAM and the use of nanomaterials such as graphene in RRAM and PCM devices.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Allen 101X

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
Flywheel Energy Storage: The Utility Scale Energy Storage Solution
Abstract / Description: 

Energy storage is now emerging as an essential electric utility resource to effectively enable higher penetration levels of variable renewable generation resources. In California, in response to RPS mandates for increased renewable penetration, Assembly Bill 2514, in conjunction with CPUC rulings, has called for 1.3 GW of flexible energy storage to be incorporated into the energy mix by the three California IOUs during the next few years. Similar actions are being followed in other U.S. states, and worldwide. The talk will review the energy storage landscape, and then focus on the speaker's interests in advancing flywheel energy storage to meet utility scale challenges. In short, a flywheel functions as a battery, with kinetic energy storage replacing conventional electrochemical processes. Based on numerous implementations and products released during the past 20-30 years, there has been a general belief in the power systems community that flywheels are only suited to short term applications, for example in frequency regulation, grid stability enhancement, voltage support, and in UPS and transit system applications. This is not the case, and the talk will outline how flywheels can be economically designed to meet multi-hour energy shifting applications, that are essential for provision of capacity, and extended integration of variable renewable generation. Some details on product and project development at grid scale energy storage start-up Amber Kinetics will be discussed.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
Robot Intelligence in a Cloud-Connected World
Abstract / Description: 

Robotics is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation. High-performance networking and cloud computing has radically transformed how individuals and businesses manage data, and is poised to disrupt the state-of-the-art in the development of intelligent machines.

This talk explores the long-term prospects for the future evolution of robot intelligence based on search, distributed computing, and big data. Ongoing research on autonomous cars and humanoid robots will be discussed in the context of how cloud-connectivity will enable future robotic systems to be more capable and useful.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
Linearization Techniques for Push-Pull Amplifiers
Abstract / Description: 

Amplifiers that need to drive heavy loads (low resistances and/or large capacitances) with good efficiency generally use a push-pull output stage. This intrinsically creates large open-loop distortion components that need to be compressed through feedback to insure high closed-loop linearity. Minimizing close loop residual distortion involves three steps that will be discussed in the talk. Eliminate all open-loop source of distortion not intrinsic to the operation of the push pull structure. Second, choose the amplifier topology that gives the maximum close loop compression of the open-loop distortion components for a given bandwidth. Third, maximize the unity gain bandwidth of the amplifier for a given topology while insuring stability in the presence of variable loads.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

SystemX Headlights Workshop

Topic: 
Frontiers in Wireless Connectivity
Abstract / Description: 

SystemX annual Headlights Workshop this year focuses on advances in wireless technologies and their applications.

The opening day covers the evolving wireless communications technology itself (5G, Wi-Fi, PAN/BAN) and their arising new challenges: efficient spectrum use, the movement to higher frequencies of operation, challenges in concurrency. We are honored to have Dr. Chih-Lin I, China Mobile's Chief Scientist of Wireless Technologies, lead off that day with a keynote talk.

The second day topics are on the deployment, proliferation of wireless connectivity. Sessions will cover the rapidly developing wireless infrastructure, the emergence of new connected devices/new services, and some of the system technology challenges both have created. We are delighted to have Dr. Ken Stewart, Intel's Chief Wireless Technologist for Mobility, open the second day with a keynote. We are ending the conference with a panel on deployment opportunities and challenges that includes Dr. Craig Barratt, responsible for Access and Energy at Google; and Vijay Sammeta, San Jose's CIO.


 

SystemX annual Headlights Workshop, this year focused on advances in wireless technologies and their applications.

The event is by invitation only. Please contact SystemX for more information.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 9:00am to Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 5:00pm
Venue: 
Huang Engineering Center

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
The IoT Re-evolutions: Opportunities and Challenges for the Design Engineering Community
Abstract / Description: 

The last few years have witnessed an increasing excitement about the Internet of Things, or IoT, (or IoE) which many believe will be the next big wave, after the PC boom, the Internet buildout and the proliferation of mobile wireless devices. Cisco estimates that the number of connected devices worldwide will reach 50 billion by 2020, but Intel believes it will be as high as 200 billion. Engineering and deploying such a massive number of devices creates daunting challenges for the semiconductor, system and software designs. On one side of the equation, the classic constraints of cost, energy efficiency, and security will be pushed to the extreme. On the other side, several new and unique system-level constraints are emerging. As intelligence and connectivity are moving to every day things, the skillset of the developers is evolving and becoming more focused on the thing itself rather than the underlying technology. This requires the design of devices with the concept of simplicity in mind: very easy to use in terms of both software and hardware, enabling fast development times for the average technical guy. System-level innovation in all these aspects will bring more value than innovations in any single element of the devices. Therefore, IoT is not a revolution, but rather a "re-evolution" of existing engineering techniques.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
TensorFlow Overview and Future Directions
Abstract / Description: 

Over the past few years, we have built two large-scale computer systems for training neural networks, and then applied these systems to a wide variety of problems that have traditionally been very difficult for computers. We have made significant improvements in the state-of-the-art in many of these areas, and our software systems and algorithms have been used by dozens of different groups at Google to train state-of-the-art models for speech recognition, image recognition, various visual detection tasks, language modeling, language translation, and many other tasks. Our second-generation system, TensorFlow, has been designed and implemented based on what we have learned from building and using DistBelief, our first generation system. The TensorFlow API and an initial implementation was released as an open-source project in November, 2015 (see tensorflow.org). In this talk, I'll discuss the design and implementation of TensorFlow, and discuss some future directions for improving the system. This talk describes joint work with a large number of people at Google.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Allen 101X

SystemX Seminar

Topic: 
MEMS in Auto and Consumer Applications
Abstract / Description: 

This presentation provides an overview of current MEMS technology, its applications, and market share. MEMS-fabrication processes are described, and the challenges of MEMS compared to standard IC techniques are discussed. After a description of the evolution of MEMS, the presentation provides a short survey of MEMS applications. Then, the principles of the newest inertial sensors for ESP-systems are described, with an emphasis on the design concepts pertaining to the sensing element, and to the evaluation circuits, for achieving excellent performance. This presentation concludes with an outlook on arising new MEMS applications, such as energy harvesters and micro-fuel cells.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 111

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