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BYU ECE Engineers Invited to Present Low-Power Circuit at CICC


The BYU Electrical and Computer Engineering department has received approval to present at the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference 2020 (CICC), from March 22-25 in Boston, MA. The event is a gathering where the best researchers come together to publish and discuss their recent work.

According to ECE Assistant Professor Dr. Wood Chiang, CICC is “one of the most prestigious circuit conferences in the world.” The conference covers the latest advances in circuit research spanning a range of technologies including sensors, data converters, radio frequency circuits, and digital processors, amongst others.

Chiang worked with Alexander Petrie, a student who received his MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at BYU to create a low-power circuit which serves as an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC), sponsored by a NASA fellowship and ON Semiconductor. They are targeting low-power sensors that can be found in medical or wireless sensor devices.

“Since computers and microprocessors can only interpret digital signals, an ADC is necessary to convert a real-world signal into something the computer can understand,” Petrie said.

A rigorous review process was required for BYU to receive the invitation to present at the conference. Chiang said they submitted their paper which was then analyzed by a committee consisting of experts within the field. They review all the submissions and make a determination of the best papers to publish in the conference.

“Companies will fly their people to the conference to learn the latest and best ways to do circuit design. We share ideas with them, they find students to hire, and they also sponsor projects. It’s a venue for people to exchange and to network,” Chiang said.

The conference is open to an international research community who want to contribute solutions and learn new ways to design circuits. Chiang and Petrie will present their research on low-power ADC's at the event.

“Being able to present at CICC means a great deal to me, as it is one of the very top circuit design conferences in the world. I’ve always hoped to be able to present at such a conference, with the “giants” in the circuit design industry in attendance,” Petrie said.

Creating the low-power circuit was not an easy accomplishment. Chiang and Petrie worked closely over the last 2.5 years by holding weekly meetings and doing design reviews to guarantee the project was on the right track.

“I’m pretty hands on as a professor, so I’ve worked with Alex pretty closely throughout the whole duration of the project,” Chiang said. “I’m intimately involved with every detail of this design to make sure that it’s a success.”

Petrie said he is grateful to BYU, NASA, On Semiconductor, Dr. Chiang, his classmates and family for their support as he has worked on the project. He thinks the opportunity will give BYU’s ECE program great exposure as students continue to fulfill more project ideas.