VLSI Research

We develop high-speed circuit technologies and design methods that enable novel architectures. Our circuit technologies include asynchronous circuits, low-power circuits, and communication links. Our design methods include intellectual tools and computer-aided design tools to help with circuit design, implementation, and testing.

The VLSI Research group dates back to the beginning of Sun Labs. In 1990, Sun Microsystems formed Sun Labs by acquiring the consulting firm of Sutherland, Sproull, and Associates. That year, Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull founded the Asynchronous Circuits Research Group in Sun Labs to continue their work in understanding and applying asynchronous circuits to system design. Ivan and Bob, now retired from Sun/Oracle, became Sun Fellows and Vice Presidents. Later, the group changed its name to the "VLSI Research Group" and broadened its research scope.

As a research lab, we prototype solutions to future problems that we predict will confront Oracle engineered systems. Our efforts are most active in high-performance and low-energy VLSI technologies and design methods, and our technology demonstrations involve fabricated silicon test chips, software code, and design and test methodologies. To date we've attacked problems in low-energy communications, both on-chip and between chips; highly scalable computer systems designs; memory and compute-in-memory packaging and system architectures; design optimization; and CAD tools.

We collaborate broadly with university partners and U.S. Government agencies, and many group members are active in international technology communities, such as technological conference committees, journal editorial boards, and international technology prize juries.

The VLSI group is also the development center for the open-source Electric VLSI Design System (manual and users).

Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together