Sumeet Gupta receives DARPA Young Faculty Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sumeet Kumar Gupta,  Monkowski Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA).

The YFA program identifies and engages rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and exposes them to Department of Defense (DOD) needs as well as DARPA's program development process.

The long-term goal of the YFA program is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their career on DOD and national security issues.

Gupta received the award based on his research proposal,  “Ultra-Low Power Non-Volatile Processors Enabled by Ferroelectric Transistors.” Currently, mobile electronic devices need a battery to power them. If the electronic systems could be made energy autonomous or “battery-less,” it would benefit several applications related to defense, healthcare and more. For instance, there would be no need to worry about recharging the energy source. These electronic systems would draw their energy from the environment, like the mechanical motion of the body.

However, these ambient sources can be unreliable, intermittent and highly variable. Therefore, the processor design must change in order to work reliably with such unreliable energy sources.

In this project, Gupta’s team is exploring new techniques that would save the state of the system in the event of a power failure. This enables resuming the computation when the power returns, instead of commencing from the beginning—as is the case in today’s processors. To enable such a non-volatile processor, Gupta is investigating new devices, circuits and architectures employing an emerging technology known as ferroelectric transistor.

“We aim to design a highly energy efficient and reconfigurable non-volatile processor architecture using a device-circuit-architecture co-design approach,” Gupta explained. “So far, we have found that power-performance associated with backing up and restoring data can be significantly improved and the system can be made adaptable to varying power levels by utilizing the unique properties of the ferroelectric transistors at the circuit and architecture levels.”

The YFA will help Gupta further his research and engage more students in this emerging area.

Gupta joined the electrical engineering faculty at Penn State in 2014. Prior to this, he was a senior engineer at Qualcomm Inc. He has published over 60 articles in refereed journals and conferences and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

 

 

Last Updated October 28, 2016