DARPA to fund prof research

first_imgThree professors in the Viterbi School of Engineering have won three of ten contracts from a research program that aims to increase efficiency of low-powered electronics, USC announced Friday.The Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies Program, or PERFECT Program, is a division in the government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA) that not only deemphasizes constructing hardware, but also focuses more on the impact of the existing technology. DARPA, which was launched in 1958 as a response to the Sputnik launch, is used by software companies and the U.S. military to promote military projects.Michael Fritze, Massoud Pedram and Viktor Prasanna received contracts that will fund their continuing research in ultra low-power microelectronics. The research aims to lower the consumption of power that certain electronic devices use by 64 times less than what the current systems utilize.The competitors included professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley, and Viterbi received more contracts than any other university.The professors, whose three contracts combined are a multi-million dollar deal to fund research for energy conservation, will focus on the benefit of low-powered devices and the dependability of such systems.A research professor of electrical engineering and electrophysics, Fritze created the low-powered circuits that are installed in computers and military electronic systems. The systems are also known as field programmable gate arrays, or FPGA. Fritze’s work has resulted in the lowest-powered FPGAs in the world, according to the Viterbi School of Engineering. Prasanna, who is the Charles Lee Powell Chair in Engineering and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was recognized for his work in signal-processing algorithms that work with low-powered devices.Pedram, an associate professor of electrical engineering systems, won for the development of low-powered circuits that are thinner than a single sheet of paper.John Damoulakis, the deputy director of advanced electronics at Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute, said the systems can be applied to multiple industries.“The university has a long history of developing capable ultra-low-power microelectronics,” Damoulakis said. “These professors have spent decades designing low-powered devices and systems that can be applied to both commercial and military industries.”last_img read more