Shah Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

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ECE Assistant Professor Sahil Shah, in collaboration with Professor Kyusang Lee from the University of Virginia, has been awarded a $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.  Their project is titled Collaborative Research: CMOS+X: 3D integration of CMOS spiking neurons with AlBN/GaN-based Ferroelectric HEMT towards artificial somatosensory system.

The primary objective of this project is to showcase an innovative 3D heterogeneous integration method that merges CMOS technology with emerging devices through Cu-Cu interconnection. They will utilize pioneering semiconductor growth and lift-off techniques, including remote epitaxy and 2-dimensional material-based layer transfer technology, to introduce ultra-thin GaN membrane-based neuromorphic synapses. These can be stacked and heterogeneously integrated with a neuromorphic array on a CMOS chip. This integration of CMOS-based neuromorphic arrays and FeHEMT synapses using 3D integration will facilitate energy-efficient near-sensor computing by minimizing the data transfer between computation and actuation, thereby alleviating transportation bottlenecks. Additionally, this grant will underpin the exploration of mixed-signal circuits that will enable the encoding of image data into the spiking domain. Moreover, it will also scrutinize CMOS-based circuits to process these spikes in real-time. Figure shows an overall goal of this project. 

The results of this research will pave the way for potential applications in smart in-sensor computing, which can be leveraged in various fields such as manufacturing, military, and biomedical fields. Ultimately, this will lead to significant advancements in semiconductor, mechanical, computer, and robotics engineering, as well as industrial applications. This pioneering work will not only contribute to the academic community but will also have a far-reaching impact on society by enabling more efficient and intelligent systems.

Published August 29, 2023