Design Automation Conference Recognizes Coskun, Meng


When it comes to computers, creating low-power, high performance systems is the ultimate goal of much recent research.

The Design Automation Conference (DAC) awards ECE Assistant Professor Ayse Coskun (center) and PhD student, Jie Meng (left), the A. Richard Newton Graduate Scholarship.
The Design Automation Conference (DAC) awards ECE Assistant Professor Ayse Coskun (center) and PhD student, Jie Meng (left), the A. Richard Newton Graduate Scholarship.

For more than a year, Assistant Professor Ayse Coskun (ECE) and Jie Meng (PhD ’13) have been exploring how 3D chip stacking might be a means of reaching that target.

“3D design has been an active area of research for the last decade,” Coskun said, “but the next few years will be the time-frame when we’ll see these products in the market finally.”

Coskun’s and Meng’s project, “3D Systems for Low-Power High-Performance Computing,” aims to develop a set of methods and tools that will enable 3D systems to be used in building more efficient multiprocessors.

“It’s a hot topic in computing research,” said Meng. “We’re seeing a lot of progress, and others are starting to take notice.”

One company looking closely at their research is IBM, which is collaborating on the project. Recently, the Design Automation Conference (DAC) also recognized their work.

A DAC committee awarded Coskun and Meng the A. Richard Newton Graduate Scholarship. The award aims to support the study of electronic design automation and includes $24K to support a graduate student’s research over an academic year.

“We were honored that our research project had been selected,” said Coskun, who will be recognized with Meng at the June conference. “This is a prestigious award for a junior faculty member and a PhD student.”

This one-year project, Coskun added, can also be applied to other research areas her Boston University team is working on, including energy and performance management of manycore systems, liquid-cooled high performance systems, and software optimization for green computing.

Prior to working with Coskun, Meng was new to design automation and computer architecture research. Now, Meng’s work has led to a paper that was presented at the Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI in May 2011, and she also co-authored a journal article that will be published in IEEE Micro.

“She was new to this area a year ago, and now she is becoming an expert in architectural performance simulation, a key component in evaluating performance and energy of 3D stacked systems,” said Coskun.

Added Meng: “I knew Professor Coskun was already well-known in her field. Getting a chance to work with her has been a great opportunity for me, and she’s been very good at offering advice.”

Part of that advice was about internships. This summer, Meng will join Sandia National Laboratories, an opportunity she credits Coskun for, where she will continue her research in improving performance and energy efficiency of multicore systems.

“Coming to BU has provided a lot of opportunities for me,” said Meng. “It’s a great location for research, I’ve made a lot of friends, and the professors are always very helpful.”

-Rachel Harrington (