Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Summer Research

Well lucky me, I was approved for a grant to do some research with a professor over the summer (and probably next fall as well). I'm excited to get to know the professor a little better and once we have finished, we expect to be published as well. This will more than make up for me getting a Master's of Engineering rather than a Master's of Science (with a thesis).

The research has to do with a new way to implement a PLL (phased-locked loop). A PLL is a closed-loop feedback system where the output is dependent on the phase and frequency of the input. They are used in anything wireless as well as computers and other analog and digital circuitry. See the wikipedia article here for more info.

My professor has rough designs of a new (and hopefully better) way to implement a charge-pump PLL. My job will be to simulate the circuit, optimize it and then lay the circuit out for fabrication. For the layout, each transistor, resistor, capacitor and inductor is designed in silicon, silicon dioxide, poly-silicon, and different metal layers. Once the circuit has been laid out, we will have it fabricated in either a .5 micron or a .13 micron process. Next fall we will test the circuits and document the results.

I can't say anything about the specifics of the circuit because of a non-disclosure statement that I had to sign. I'll be making a cool $10/hr and will hopefully work between 10-20 hours a week on this and then 30-40 hours a week at my regular job. The nice part is I get my own desk/lab space at school where I can work and new computer that dual-boots Linux (CentOS 5) and Windows Vista. Hopefully everything works out!

**Update - It turns out that I did better this semester than I expected. My GPA was 3.66 - which also brought my cumulative GPA up a bit.

1 comment:

Al said...

In regards to your Shared Items: good job, now you have the word 'ass' on your blog for all to see.