NSF Workshop

NSF Workshop on Micro/Nano Circuits and Systems Design.
Hosted by the University of Notre Dame

NSF Workshop on Micro/Nano Circuits and Systems Design

14 — 16 December 2020
Live on Underline and hosted by University of Notre Dame

NSF Workshop on Micro/Nano

Circuits and Systems Design

Background and Motivation:

Electronic design and design automation (EDA) is a key enabling technology in the advancement of information processing that we are enjoying today. EDA has provided fundamental design principles and tools empowering the exponential growth of the number of transistors on an integrated circuit chip over the past 50 years. Without EDA, it would not have been possible for billion-transistor chips to be a reality!

After five decades of growth, the field of EDA now faces some unique challenges. On one hand, we are approaching the physical limit of transistor scaling, and the golden days of exponential growth in transistor density are over. The exorbitant cost of integrated circuit fabrication and the excessive complexity of EDA tools make it difficult to bring design automation innovations to practice. On the other hand, the recent rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence applications and emerging architectures and technologies calls for more customized solutions to designing electronic systems.

Objectives of the Workshop:

This workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will assemble a diverse group of leading researchers from both academia and industry to identify future research directions in design and design automation of electronic systems and architectures in response to the challenges and opportunities. It will feature plenary talks and panels as well as roundtable discussions. Collectively, the workshop attendees will explore answers to overarching questions such as

• what are the high-risk and high-return research topics,

• what other fields adjacent to EDA research should be aggressively pursued for highly interdisciplinary collaboration, and

• where the research funding should come from and how it should be distributed to encourage more transformative research.

The workshop will also include a satellite event with a roundtable panel discussion on strategies to improve foundry access to US-based EDA researchers. A final report, based on the deliberations of the workshop, will be produced to the government recommending future research directions.

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