Research

[Current Focuses ] [Research Links ]

Current Focuses

The research activities of Li’s group span several themes: Integrated Circuits/Systems & CAD, Computational Brain Modeling, Brain Inspired Computing and Hardware Systems, Statistical Machine Learning for IC Design/Verification, Energy and Autonomous Systems.

     

        

In the past several decades, CMOS technology scaling has enabled the proliferation of a wide spectrum of electronic systems, ranging from microprocessors, DSP processors, system-on-a-chips, consumer electronics and sensors, literally into every aspect of human life. Technology scaling not only offers increasing system performance at lower cost, but also, as an unavoidable side effect, introduces significant challenges as we strive for the next-level of high performance and high reliability in power-efficient circuits and systems. The ability in analyzing, designing and verifying increasingly complex designs plays a critical role in capitalizing nanometer manufacturing technology. On the other hand, new system architectures and design strategies, notably multi-core microarchietures, self-test & self-adapting designs, and bio-inspired circuits, have emerged for achieving optimal performance, power and reliability tradeoffs in lieu of technology scaling. This calls for new design techniques as well as CAD methodologies for such systems.

Current research topics are:

  • IC power delivery, voltage regulation & conversion, power management
  • Modeling, optimization, verification and test of analog/mixed-signal circuits
  • Biophysically based brain modeling and large-scale parallel simulation of neuronal networks
  • Brain-inspired learning algorithms, circuits and architectures
  • Hardware based machine learning including spiking neural network accelerators
  • Application of statistical machine learning to VLSI design & verification and autonomous systems

Our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Texas Analog of Excellence (TxAcE), Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), DoD, and the US semiconductor industry with collaboration with major semiconductor and EDA companies (IBM, Intel, Freescale Semiconductors, Texas Instruments, AMD, Mentor Graphics etc) and other interdisciplinary research teams.

Research Links