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Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory (MICL)

University of Michigan

World’s Smallest Computer

As computing devices progress toward smaller and more efficient designs, Michigan Engineers have taken the lead in millimeter sized units that can perform on many alternating platforms. Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw have developed units capable of harvesting solar power to utilize wireless communication, pressure and temperature sensors and even still image and video processing.

Powering the Internet of Things

Imagine a gym shirt that tells an app your body temp and heart rate, or could alert you before an asthma attack happens. What if your plant fertilizer reminded your cell phone when it was time to water? The Internet of Things, and Prof. David Wentzloff, will soon make things like this a reality. )

News Feed

Two members of ECE will represent U-M at the 2019 Rising Stars in EECS Workshop

The intensive workshop brings together outstanding women who are graduate students or postdocs interested in pursuing academic careers in electrical engineering and computer science.

Two ‘U’ researchers receive Distinguished University Innovator Award

The Michigan Daily profiles Professors David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester, who are this year’s recipients of the 2019 Distinguished University Innovator Award.

Blaauw, Sylvester are 2019 Distinguished University Innovators

Pioneering computer technology that is spurring innovation and disruption across industries has earned David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester, professors of electrical engineering and computer science, this year’s Distinguished University Innovator Award.

First programmable memristor computer aims to bring AI processing down from the cloud

Circuit elements that store information in their electrical resistances enable a brain-like form of computing, storing and processing information in the same place.

David Blaauw named Kensall D. Wise Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Blaauw’s innovations in low-power computing led to development of the Michigan Micro Mote, the world’s smallest computer.

A high-efficiency GaAs solar cell to power the Internet of Tiny Things

The Michigan Micro Mote gets a new gallium arsenide solar cell for added power and adaptability.

SLAM-ming good hardware for drone navigation

Researchers built the first visual SLAM processor on a single chip that provides highly accurate, low-power, and real-time results.

U-M startup raises $6 million in venture funding

Movellus is a U-M startup founded by alumni Dr. Mo Faisal (now CEO) and Dr. Jeff Fredenburg (now VP of Engineering).

Communicating with the world’s smallest computers

Researchers built the first millimeter-scale transmitter and antenna that can talk Bluetooth Low Energy with ease.

Crafting better digital systems with ECE PhD student Jie-Fang Zhang

Zhang is recognized with the Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship for his work designing hardware solutions that could help support computer vision and machine learning.

More efficient machine vision technology modeled on human vision

Prof. Robert Dick and advisee Ekdeep Singh Lubana developed a new technique that significantly improves the efficiency of machine vision applications

Prof. Zhengya Zhang receives CoE undergraduate education award

Prof. Zhang receives outstanding evaluations from students and opens their imagination to research in the field of VLSI circuits and systems.

Beyond Moore’s law: $16.7M for advanced computing projects

DARPA’s initiative to reinvigorate the microelectronics industry draws deeply on Michigan Engineering expertise.

Michigan chips will be first to test next-generation hardware design tools

U-M team will serve as model for nimble and innovative system-on-chip design.

A new hybrid chip that can change its own wiring

The speedy and efficient system-on-chip could unify wireless communication.

Enabling anyone to design hardware with a new open-source tool

Six-month hardware design process will be turned into 24-hour automated task.

Hun-Seok Kim receives DARPA Young Faculty Award to advance research in IoT networks

Kim’s research is expected to impact the future design and wireless operation of the next generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices

An even smaller world’s smallest ‘computer’

The latest from IBM and now the University of Michigan is redefining what counts as a computer at the microscale.

Seed-sized U-M computers pumped into oil wells featured at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Millimeter-sized computers log the temperature and pressure from deep within oil wells.

Fred Buhler builds better chips for “Aweslome” applications

Fred Buhler founded Aweslome to provide custom-build chips for a broad range of applications, including machine learning, neural networks, security, and circuits testing.

2017 ISCA Influential Paper Award for groundbreaking research in power-efficient computing

This award recognizes the paper published 15 years ago (2002) that has had the biggest impact on the field

Michigan’s millimeter-scale computers featured at ISSCC2017, and in IEEE Spectrum

Professors Blaauw and Sylvester showcase capabilities of tiny computing

Alum startup wins $25,000 at Accelerate Michigan Competition

Movellus Circuits won $25,000 in the University Research Highlight and People’s Choice categories

David Blaauw honored with SIA/SRC University Research Award

Prof. Blaauw was a key member of the team that developed the world’s first millimeter-scale computer, known as the Michigan Micro Mote (M3).

Injectable computers can broadcast from inside the body

This platform has enabled a variety of sensors that can fit inside the human body, made possible by several breakthroughs in ultra-low power computing.

Injectable computers

With a radio specifically designed to communicate through tissue, researchers from the Electrical and Computer Engineering are adding another level to a computer platform small enough to fit inside a medical grade syringe.

Avish Kosari selected as Barbour Scholar for Research in low-power devices for the Internet of Things

Avish conducts research on ultra-low power and battery-less integrated circuits.

MBus is the missing interconnect for millimeter-scale systems

The M3 is a fully autonomous computing system that acts as a smart sensing system.

3 ECE companies make the Silicon 60 List – again!

Ambiq Micro, Crossbar, Inc., and PsiKick, are leading the way in ultra-low power chip design, pioneering computer memory, and ultra-low power wireless sensor platforms.

Michigan Micro Mote (M3) makes history as the world’s smallest computer

A brief history of what led to the technical feat known as the Michigan Micro Mote, a tiny speck of a computer that does it all.

Student team reaches Qualcomm finals with their proposal for a wearable haptic device

The goal of the project is to augment the transmission of audio and video with the sense of touch.

Prof. Robert Dick to apply cyber information to air quality management

The grant is part of a new $12.5M initiative by the National Science Foundation to encourage computing innovations for a sustainable society.

Scott Hanson receives 2014 Arbor Networks Ph.D. Research Impact Award

Dr. Hanson is the co-founder of a startup semiconductor company that plans to lead the low-power revolution in electronics by powering the Internet of Things.

Khalil Najafi receives 2015 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for emerging technologies

The IEEE Daniel E. Noble award is a Technical Field Award, which is among the highest awards given.

PsiKick startup attracts financing for its Internet of Things technology

The chips’ extreme energy efficiency enables them to be powered without a battery from harvested energy sources like vibration, thermal gradients, and more.

Muhammad Faisal wins business competition with technology critical to the Internet of Things

Movellus Circuits’ product is a patent-pending clock generator technology that is smaller, cheaper, and faster than existing solutions.

Students rewarded for their circuit designs in EECS 413

The course, Monolithic Amplifier Circuits, has a tradition of offering prizes for the top final projects designed by the students.

Making the Internet of Things happen

Wentzloff aims to remove the necessity of a power outlet or even a battery to power miniature sensors.

Michigan @ ISSCC 2013: Alumni and Friends Mixer

“Many of these people have known each other for years; it’s a great time to catch up.”

Bharan Giridhar awarded Intel PhD Fellowship

Bharan’s research focusses on developing circuit techniques for adaptive and reliable high-performance computing.

Zhengya Zhang receives Intel Early Career Award

Zhang’s research is in the area of low-power and high-performance VLSI circuits and systems.

2013 Design Automation Conference Anniversary Awards

Congratulations to the award-winning faculty members and to the DAC for 50 years!

Researchers funded to develop a leap forward in Processor Architectures

The project proposes to produce a parallel heterogeneous 3D near-threshold computing system with unprecedented energy efficiency.

Student teams earn prizes for their ADC circuit designs in EECS 511

Prof. Dennis Sylvester receives U-M Faculty Recognition Award

He is a pioneer in the field of ultra-low power processor design, especially for the smallest computing devices in existence.

Gyouho Kim awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for research in ultra-low power optical interfaces for mm-scale wireless sensor nodes

“We designed an ultra-low power optical wake-up receiver with a novel front-end circuit and communication scheme suitable for miniature wireless sensor node applications.”

Bharan Giridhar awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for research in circuit techniques for adaptive, reliable, high-performance computing

Giridhar’s research has an emphasis on developing circuit techniques for adaptive and reliable, high-performance computing.

David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester named Top Authors by ISSCC

Both research papers discuss ultra low-power chip design and millimeter-scale computing.

David Wentzloff receives CAREER Award for research in energy-autonomous systems

His research addresses critical needs in the area of wireless communication for the growing field of ubiquitous, energy-autonomous sensing devices.

Students in EECS 413 awarded prizes for their circuit designs

The specifications for the projects were close to the state of the art. Congratulations to the winning groups!

Nathan Roberts earns Best Paper Award for research to assist in remote patient monitoring

Roberts is helping to develop low-power sensor nodes that will be worn on the body to detect certain medical conditions.

2012 ICCAD Ten Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award to Prof. Blaauw, Prof. Mudge, and EECS alumni Dr. Martin and Dr. Flautner

The research addressed voltage scaling of processors at the point where, at very low voltages, voltage leakage begins to dominate the computational power consumption.

Developing the wireless component for personalized health devices

The program aims to create wearable systems that monitor a person’s environment and health in search of connections between pollutants and chronic diseases.

UG Research Spotlight: Fred Buhler spends his summer improving circuit testing

The project involved designing new boards and writing test software, as well as writing software to control instruments and some integrated circuit design.

Student teams earn prizes for their analog/digital interface circuit designs in EECS 511

The students, lead by Prof. Michael Flynn, competed for cash prizes—the two winners were chosen by Analog Devices.

Michael McCorquodale named 2012 UBM Electronics ACE Innovator of the Year

“Without McCorquodale’s vision, unwavering persistence, and leadership in the face of decades of thinking to the contrary, CMOS oscillators would not exist today.”

Students awarded prizes for their class designs of an energy harvesting circuit and a high efficiency audio amplifier

The two winning teams designed an energy harvesting circuit for implantable devices and sensor networks, and a high efficiency audio amplifier for mobile applications.

2012 EECS Outstanding Achievement Awards

Congratulations to these amazing faculty members!

Laura Freyman awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Freyman is studying Electrical Engineering and is a member of the Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory.

Powering breakthrough technologies

Ambiq Micro could revolutionize ubiquitous computing, with energy-efficient microcontrollers that are 10 times more energy efficient than conventional microprocessors.

Yoonmyung Lee receives 2011 Intel Corporation PhD Fellowship

Lee is currently working closely with his colleagues to build an ultra-low power wireless sensor platform.

Making smart dust a reality

This research is expected to have a fundamental and long term impact on a diverse set of applications ranging from energy conservation to health care.

AMD/Michigan Student Design Contest

Congratulations to the winning students!

U-M Alumni and Friends Mixer at ISSCC 2011

Toward computers that fit on a pen tip: New technologies usher in the millimeter-scale computing era

U-M faculty have developed what is believed to be the first complete millimeter-scale computing system, with applications in radio communication and wireless sensing.

Three EECS Teams are winners in 2011 DAC/ISSCC Student Design Contest

The contest is highly competitive and features the best student projects from the largest and most prestigious conferences in their respective fields.

Xi Chen and Prof. Robert Dick receive DATE Best Paper Award

The authors analyzed performance and accuracy for a variety of dynamic thermal analysis techniques and used their findings to develop a new analysis technique. Congratulations!

Zhengya Zhang receives NSF CAREER Award

The proposed research addresses the frontiers of error-correction coding and very-large-scale integration by advancing algorithms and circuit techniques.

EECS 413 students earn prizes for their final projects

“We were all impressed by the fact that most students chose highly-relevant and innovating projects,” stated Dr. Naraghi.

Paving the way for ubiquitous computing

Until now, ubiquitous computing has been hampered by the size of necessary batteries—but Ambiq Micro is changing that, with their energy-efficient micro-controllers.

Prof. Dennis Sylvester elected Fellow of the IEEE

According to IEEE, “the grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in the profession and shall be conferred upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments.”

Zhengya Zhang earns Best Paper Award at Symposium on VLSI Circuits

The resulting 65nm CMOS test chip achieved an energy efficiency of 21 pJ/bit making it a promising candidate for low-power, high-performance applications.

Ambiq Micro: Taking a startup to the next level

“Imagine a microprocessor so tiny and long lasting that it can be implanted in the eye of a glaucoma sufferer to measure the progress of the disease.”

Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor system developed

The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as home-, building- and bridge-monitoring devices.

Analog Devices Finds Winning A/D Circuit Designs in EECS 511

Congratulations to Jeong, Park, and Yoon!

EECS professors receive research grants from Google

The research funded by Google involves redesigning servers and data centers to improve their energy efficiency.

Prof. David Wentzloff awarded Young Faculty Award (YFA) by DARPA

Wentzloff is working to develop a wireless 3D interconnection fabric that can provide communication channels and crossbar routing.

EECS researchers receive Best Paper Award at ISLPED

The paper explores logic and memory circuit topologies for a new type of transistor in development at IBM.

Matthew Fojtik awarded Intel Foundation/SRCEA Fellowship

The fellowship will support Fojtik’s work on a processor that can recover from timing errors and run without margining for worst case operating conditions.

Austin and Blaauw Receive 2008 Richard Newton GSRC Industrial Impact Award

The award recognized research that is “at least five years old and has had significant industrial impact.”