Paving the Way for High Speeds on the Electronics Highway

in Events, News-EP, News-ISS, Research, Research-EP, Research-ISS
March 15th, 2012

On March 7, Professor M. C. Frank Chang of UCLA visited Boston University's Electrical & Computer Engineering Department as part of the Spring 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series.

On March 7, Professor M. C. Frank Chang of UCLA visited Boston University's Electrical & Computer Engineering Department as part of the Spring 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Throughout his career, Professor M. C. Frank Chang of UCLA has been a leader in high-speed electronics research. Holding over 20 patents and co-authoring more than 250 technical papers, Chang is a valuable resource when it comes to improving upon high-speed semiconductor devices and integrated circuits (ICs).

On March 7, Chang visited Boston University to talk about his latest research as part of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Throughout the semester, prominent engineers like Chang are invited to BU to speak about their work with students and faculty in the ECE community.

Chang, who is also the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA, is currently exploring how radio, radar, and imaging systems could be implemented by using millimeter-wave and terahertz systems-on-a-chip. These ICs would be integrated with a computer or other electronic system at very small dimensions.

“Ultra-high speed near-field communication systems are a hot topic of research right now,” said Chang. “There is a strong push to make them both faster and more efficient.”

Chang was the first to find success in transmitting and receiving waves through ICs using complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) radio frequency at the terahertz range. Still, he admits that there are drawbacks to using this method such as the fact that CMOS only works in a limited range.

Chang and his research team have already made considerable progress and are hoping the algorithms and techniques they’re developing at UCLA will help overcome the challenges encountered with CMOS technology. Eventually, they believe that using CMOS will result in radio, radar, and imaging systems that will be able to cover an unprecedented amount of spectra, run more efficiently, and be more cost-effective.

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, Chang also received the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in 2006.

Chang’s talk was the second in the three-part Spring 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series. The next talk features Professor Charles W. Tu of the University of California, San Diego, who will speak on the topic, “Bandgap Engineering and Device Applications of Dilute Nitrides.” Hear him on March 28, 2012, at 4 p.m. in PHO 211.

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)