Current Research Projects

Accelerators

As we near the end of Dennard scaling, traditional performance and power scaling benefits primarily derived from semiconductor process technology improvements no longer exist. At the same time, transistor density improvements continue; the result is the “dark silicon” problem in which chips now have more transistors than a system can fully power at any point in time. Constrained by power consumption, hardware acceleration in the form of datapath and control circuitry customized to particular algorithms or applications offers a promising approach to deliver orders of magnitude performance and energy benefits compared to general purpose computing. 

To learn more about our ongoing projects in hardware accelerators, click here.

Efficient On-Chip Power Delivery

We focus on two methods of improving power delivery systems:  integrated voltage regulators and flexible voltage stacking. Per-core DVFS can significantly increase power efficiency of a multicore system because the lowest voltage is no longer determined by the worst-case core but instead by individual cores. However, generating many independently controlled voltage domains using current off-chip voltage regulators is infeasible due to parasitic effects and the practical difficulty of routing multiple separate power delivery networks. Integrated voltage regulators can provide the answer to this problem. Flexible voltage stacking connects the power pads of multiple cores in series rather than in parallel. This is an alternative approach that can simplify the power delivery system and mitigate its inefficiencies.

To learn more about our ongoing projects in power delivery, click here.

RoboBees

Inspired by the biology of a bee, our group, along with collaborators at the Wyss Institute, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Northeastern University, is developing RoboBees, a miniature robotic system that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief. A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less than one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” comprised of materials that contract when a voltage is applied.

To learn more about the RoboBees project, click here.