UCLA Samueli Faculty Join New Effort in Next-Generation Electronic Technologies

JUMP 2.0-funded research advances cloud computing, hybrid electronic and light-based

Semi conductor

Illustration of a next-generation semiconductor leveraging artificial intelligence to increase capacity and functionality

Jan 23, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Five faculty members in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have been named part of a major public-private consortium aiming for big gains in the performance, efficiency and capabilities of broad classes of information and communication technologies. 

The partnership, Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0), is co-funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) composed of a group of 19 global semiconductor companies and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Announced earlier this month, JUMP 2.0 supports seven major research centers, each of which is headquartered at a U.S. university.   

One of those research areas is intelligent memory and storage — an effort to combine computer hardware and software into a more seamlessly intertwined framework — at the Center for Processing with Intelligent Storage and Memory (PRISM) led by UC San Diego with collaboration from researchers at UCLA Samueli. Jason Cong, a professor of computer science, and Yizhou Sun, an associate professor of computer science, will focus their work on expediting cloud computing memory and storage technologies, expanding their capabilities toward “unlimited” bandwidth and storage. 

Supported by $525,000 in annual funding for five years, Cong and Sun will also focus on incorporating intelligent memory and storage technologies into data-intensive projects. Such efforts will include discovering new drugs and developing artificial intelligence–powered systems that incorporate reasoning — the process of using logic to draw conclusions from data. 

 “UCLA has a long history working with the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Focus Center Program since its inception in 1998, and we look forward to another five years of exciting research as part of PRISM and the JUMP 2.0 program,” said Cong, who also holds UCLA’s Volgenau Chair for Engineering Excellence. “We believe that our research on new acceleration technology for intelligent memory and storage systems will have significant impact on numerous data-intensive applications.” 

Another area of the JUMP 2.0 program involves three UCLA Samueli researchers at the Center for Heterogeneous Integration of Micro Electronic Systems (CHIMES), which is headquartered at the Pennsylvania State University. Subramanian Iyer and Puneet Gupta — both professors of electrical and computer engineering — and Ximin He — an associate professor of materials science and engineering — are all members of CHIMES. 

Supported with $850,000 in research funding per year for five years, the UCLA trio will work on designing and developing electronic microsystems that incorporate electronic and light-based components into a single unit. 

“The JUMP 2.0 program will help support our work that spans the entire gamut of microsystems research and development. In particular, we are looking at ways to optimize underutilized spaces between system components to increase their inter connectivity while addressing heat management and energy efficiency issues,” said Iyer, who also has a faculty appointment in materials science and engineering and holds UCLA’s Charles P. Reames Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. “This area of research will help shed light on innovative ways to package different components all in one highly functional module, which in turn will result in major breakthroughs in shrinking microsystems and fine-tuning their efficiency and flexibility.” 

Iyer, a veteran of previous SRC-funded research programs, will focus on designing electronic microsystems that integrate different materials at the nanometer scale (billionths of a meter), and in new devices and circuits at the micrometer scale (millionths of a meter). As an associate director at CHIMES, he will also guide the center’s prototyping of functional platforms primed to scale up for mass production. 

Gupta, who leads CHIMES’ system-driven functional integration and aggregation theme, will identify new ways to design and implement systems to integrate new materials and technology developments.  

 Ximin He’s research will focus on synthesizing new materials that can then enable new designs for packaging electronic microsystems. 

 JUMP 2.0 builds upon an earlier iteration of the SRC-led collaboration in 2018 to fund university research centers focused on keeping the U.S. at the forefront of microelectronics innovation. The renewed collaboration aims to support the Department of Defense’s leadership across a broad range of technologies critical to commercial competitiveness and future economic growth. 

Share this article