Students’ Microchip Innovations Shared With Semiconductor Experts

September 21, 2018

Two of Masdar Institute’s PhD students presented their promising microchip-related research at TECHCON, the world’s leading university-research technology conference for semiconducting technologies organized by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) in Austin, Texas, USA.
Shahzad Muzaffar and Rupesh Karn presented their research on innovative ways to enhance the performance of integrated circuits – the fingernail-sized microchips that power many gadgets today. The two were among only a total of five students from the UAE who were invited to present at TECHCON.
TECHCON conference brings together students and industry experts from the world’s top engineering universities semiconductor companies, making it a very illustrious platform for students to present their research.
“The SRC TECHCON is a very selective conference, where only the most pioneering researchers in the field of semiconductors are invited to present. I consider the participation of these students in TECHCON to be a significant achievement and I am very proud of them,” said their advisor Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel, Head of the Institute Center for Microsystems (iMicro) and Professor of Microsystems Engineering.
Muzaffar’s research focused on creating energy-efficient communication protocols for wired and wireless sensor networks that will help reduce the power demand on microchips used in web-enabled devices that collect, send and act on data they acquire, a concept known as the internet of things (IoT).
Karn developed a system to ensure that a microchip’s power level and temperature stays within a well-defined limit, resulting in a much more efficient and reliable microprocessor that does not overheat. System overheating is a common problem that can slow a microchip’s processing speed and capability, while also contributing to high power consumption levels.
Speaking about his research, Karn said, “My work can be extended to supercomputers, data centers, and server farms. These computing systems offer high-performance processing capabilities but also consume significant amounts of power, resulting in very high energy costs.  Thus, there is a growing demand for efficient power and thermal management solution for these computing systems. The ICT industry’s total carbon footprint contributes to global CO2 emissions. With UAE’s vision towards sustainability in mind, this research helps in reducing the carbon footprint of UAE’s IT systems.”
Muzaffar and Karn were grateful for the opportunity to present and represent Masdar Institute at the competitive conference. Muzaffar said, “TECHCON is a great platform to increase visibility of the innovative work we do here at Masdar Institute. Not only do faculty and students from around the world attend the event, but prestigious companies in the semiconductor field also come and share valuable information with the students.”
Their work was sponsored by the Abu Dhabi-SRC Center of Excellence for Energy-Efficient Electronic Systems (ACE4S). ACE4S is a multi-university center sponsored by SRC, directed jointly by Masdar Institute and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR). The center’s research is focused on energy-efficient wireless sensors, energy harvesting technologies and wireless communications circuits.
The center is part of Masdar Institute’s efforts to produce high-caliber human and intellectual capital to fuel the UAE’s semiconductor industry, which aims to become a regional leader in the US$336 billion global market.
Erica Solomon
News and Features Writer
12 November 2015