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UT ECE Alum Duo Ding Receives ACM SIGDA Outstanding PhD Award

UT ECE alumnus Duo Ding has received the 2013 ACM Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award in Electronic Design Automation! Dr. Ding is Prof. David Z. Pan’s student and received his PhD in August 2011. He is currently with Oracle Microelectronics in Austin. His PhD dissertation is entitled “CAD for Nanolithography and Nanophotonics”.

Design automation has gained widespread acceptance by the VLSI circuits and systems design community. Advancement in computer-aided design (CAD) methodologies, algorithms, and tools has become increasingly important to cope with the rapidly growing design complexity, higher performance and low-power requirements, and shorter time-to-market demands. To encourage innovative, ground-breaking research in the area of electronic design automation, the ACM's Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA) has established an ACM award to be given each year to an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation that makes the most substantial contribution to the theory and/or application in the field of electronic design automation.

Dr. Ding's thesis has made significant contributions in CAD for nanolithography (More Moore, which is especially challenging for local interconnect) and nanophotonics (More than Moore, which is very promising for global interconnect). In CAD for nanolithography, he is one of the first researchers who introduced and adapted systematic and application-specific machine-learning techniques to lithography hotspot detection, and applied them to physical design. Lithography hotspots have become the scaling bottlenecks in advanced process technologies in 45nm, 32nm, 22nm, and beyond, since the mainstream chip manufacturing technology is still using the 193nm wavelength lithography to print these very deep sub-wavelength features. His research in lithography hotspot detection has won two best paper awards at major IEEE/ACM conferences, and inspired the 2012 ICCAD Contest on “Fuzzy Pattern Matching in Physical Verification”. In CAD for nanophotonics, while most researches on nanophotonics are at the device/fabrication level, he proposed and built a new Optical Interconnect Library (OIL), analogous to the standard cell library methodology in VLSI designs. This was among the first attempt to build such compact/parameterized nanophotonic device library and models which are friendly for EDA community to perform higher level, joint optical-electrical interconnect planning and synthesis.

The award consists of a certificate and a check for $1,000. It will be presented at the 50th Design Automation Conference (DAC), the flagship conference in EDA, to be held in Austin during June 2-6, 2013. It is the first time that DAC is held in Austin. The award is selected by a committee of experts from academia and industry in the field and appointed by ACM in consultation with the SIGDA Chair.