The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science Department of Electrical Engineering The University of Texas at Dallas



This research laboratory was established to investigate various aspects of VLSI circuits and systems design. Specifically we are interested in design of energy efficient digital circuits and systems, circuits for nano-CMOS and beyond, VLSI architectures and algorithms for signal processing and communications, and power electronics. Current research activity includes:

  • Digitally Intensive or Digitally Assisted Mixed-Signal Design:  This work involves developing digitally intensive techniques or using digital signal processing techniques to design mixed-signal circuits for nano-CMOS technologies. This investigation started with the development of high-speed all-digital RF frequency synthesizer operating in GHz range.  In this work digital techniques were used to tune the LC tank and create a novel phase-domain All-Digital Phase Locked Loop (ADPLL) around a digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) and a time-to-digital converter (TDC).  Investigation is being carried out to develop digital techniques to calibrate, monitor and tune mixed-signal circuits to alleviate problems related to process, temperature and voltage variations.  Such techniques enable us to use standard digital CMOS processes and ASIC design flows for implementing these circuits. 

  • Circuits and Systems for Signal Processing and Communications: This activity involves developing VLSI algorithms, architectures and circuits for digital signal processing, image processing and wireless communications.  This research leverages our background in energy efficient, digitally intensive mixed-signal design techniques to develop circuits and systems for these applications suitable for implementation in nano- CMOS technologies.  Projects include, all-digital polar modulator using two-point frequency modulation of ADPLL, all-digital cartesian modulator for wideband applications, reconfigurable radio, IQ mismatch compensation, envelope tracking for power efficient AM transmitters, various low power digital filters, low power video decoding for mobile digital video platforms, etc. 

  • Energy Efficient Digital Systems: This is an ongoing investigation in which techniques are being developed for lowering power dissipation in digital systems without drastically affecting performance.  With the growing popularity of battery powered portable applications like personal communication systems, mobile computing, etc., energy efficient, high performance circuits are gaining importance.  Investigation is being carried out for lowering dynamic as well as leakage power dissipation in custom and reconfigurable circuits and systems.

  • Reconfigurable Digital Systems: This investigation involves design and development of reconfigurable hardware that is suitable for DSP and multimedia applications.  Rapid prototyping of wireless communication systems and sensor network platform is also being investigated. Several building blocks for power aware digital filters and communication algorithms are being developed.

The VLSI Design Lab projects have been sponsored or supported by the following organizations:
Texas Instruments, Semiconductor Research Corporation, US National Institute of Justice, and UTD Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.