Corso di dottorato “Energy Efficient Nanoscale Integrated Digital Circuits and Embedded Memories” Prof.Alex Fish – Inizio 19.12.2019

Title: Energy Efficient Nanoscale Integrated Digital Circuits and Embedded Memories


With advancements in technology and the expansion of mobile applications, energy consumption, which is one of the fundamental limits in both high performance microprocessors and low to medium performance portable systems, has become a primary focus of attention in integrated digital circuits design. In high performance systems, energy and peak power is the limiting factor for a further increase in clock speed and circuit density, due to the difficulties of conveying power to circuits and removing the heat that they generate. In portable battery operated devices, such as cellular phones, bio-medical devices, sensor networks, etc., energy consumption is critical since it determines the lifetime of the battery (for non-rechargeables) or the time between recharges.

Embedded memories are one of the primary components of most types of modern chips. In accordance with Moore’s Law, the size, density, and power dissipation of static random-access memories (SRAMs) has grown exponentially over the past five decades. Embedded memories occupy over 50% of the total area and power consumption of conventional microprocessors and up to 90% of microchips designed for modern Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. These trends led to introduction of new design methodologies and concepts for significant energy reduction of embedded memories.

However, In digital and memory circuits there is a clear tradeoff between energy and performance, so the cost of optimizing one results in the degradation of its counterpart. This is why achieving high performance at low energy consumption is such a challenge.

Many design techniques have been successfully applied to reduce both energy consumption components of embedded memories and logic. When discussing low/medium frequency applications, memory and logic operation in the sub/near-threshold regions has been shown to be the ideal choice. Circuits operating in the sub/near-threshold regions utilize a low supply voltage that is close to or even less than the threshold voltages of the transistors. However, the power supply reduction is accompanied by a number of problems and significant challenges. The low voltage associated with frequency reduction is not suitable for all applications. Lower supply voltages also mean lower noise margins, reduced yield, and increased vulnerability to process variations and temperature fluctuations. In extreme cases, the combination of process and temperature variations can even cause certain circuits to malfunction. Therefore, the study of design of energy efficient digital circuits and embedded memories has gained importance and could not be neglected by engineering students and designers.

On completion of this 6-hours course, the participants will have a basic understanding of the principles behind the design of energy efficient digital circuits and embedded memories in nanoscale technologies. The course starts with presentation of basic concepts in the area of digital and memory design. Then, concepts behind energy efficient design with focus on low voltage operation are presented and chosen existing solutions are discussed. Finally, advanced topics, including state-of-the-art alternative approaches to energy efficient design are shown. We conclude by discussing some potential topics for future work.

Short bio:

Prof. Alexander fish is currently a faculty in Bar Ilan University, Israel. Prof.  Fish received his  B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1999. He completed his M.Sc. in 2002 and his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in 2006, respectively, at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the ATIPS laboratory at the University of Calgary (Canada) from 2006-2008. In 2008 he joined  Ben-Gurion University in Israel, as a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. There he founded the Low Power Circuits and Systems (LPC&S) laboratory, specializing in low power circuits and systems. In October 2012 Prof. Fish joined the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Engineering as Associate Professor and the Head of the nanoelectronics track. In March 2015 he founded the Emerging Nanoscaled Integrated Circuits and Systems (ENICS) labs. Currently, he is Full Professor and heads the EnICS Impact Center.

Prof. Fish’s research interests include power reduction methodologies for high speed digital and mixed signal VLSI chips, energy efficient SRAM and eDRAM memory arrays, CMOS image sensors and biomedical circuits, systems and applications and hardware security. He has authored over 170 scientific papers in journals and conferences. He has also submitted more than 30 patent applications of which 14 have been granted. Prof. Fish has published three book chapters and one book as an editor.

Prof. Fish founded and served as Editor in Chief for the MDPI Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications (JLPEA) from 2012 to 2018. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Sensors Journal, IEEE Access Journal, Microelectronics Journal (Elsiever) and Integration, and the VLSI journal (Elsiever). He has also served as the chair of different tracks of various IEEE conferences. Prof. Fish is a member of the Sensory, VLSI Systems and Applications and Bio-Medical Systems Technical Committees of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. He is also a member of the technical program committee (digital circuits and systems track) of European Solid-State Circuits Conference.


Thursday 19.12.2019, 9.00-11:00 – Aula Seminari DIMES (Cubo 42C, V Piano)

Thursday 19.12.2019, 15.00-17:00 – Aula Seminari DIMES (Cubo 42C, V Piano)

Friday 20.12.2019, 9.00-11:00 – Aula Seminari DIMES (Cubo 42C, V Piano)