Grad student working in the lab, with view of wavy line on her monitor.

Center for Analog and Mixed Signal Opens at the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering

Grad student working in the lab, with view of wavy line on her monitor.

Electrical engineering graduate student Shweta Panwalkar studies in the new lab (Charlotte Lawson photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering cut the ribbon Nov. 30 on its Center for Analog and Mixed Signal, and not a moment too soon.

“There have been few better times for students to go into analog,” Dean Belle Wei recently told San Jose Mercury News business columnist Mike Cassidy.

“Analog chips, or chips combining analog and digital design, are needed to capture images and sound and translate them into digital information for transmission or storage, for instance. Without analog there would be no digital revolution,” Cassidy wrote.

The center’s research projects seek solutions to the some of the most challenging issues faced by semiconductor industry today through developing new circuits and architectures, said its director, Assistant Professor of Engineering Shahab Ardalan.

The lab contains design and test equipment for analog and mixed signal integrated circuits. Six designs stations are equipped with state-of-the-art computer-aided design tools and field-programmable gate array platforms along with 10 mixed signal test stations.

The center is “the result of five years of hard work and fruitful conversation,” Wei told the crowd at the ribbon cutting. “I really applaud our donors for their support and generosity.”

Texas Instruments, Maxim Integrated Products, and Dr. Gust Perlegos contributed to the project, where grad students were already hard at work that afternoon.

“These are the students we’ll be looking for in the future,” Maxim’s Kristoff Richter said. “They’ll be spending a lot of time in this lab.