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Chris Rudell Honored with NSF CAREER Award

February 3, 2015

Rudell_outsideAssistant Professor Chris Rudell has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, a five-year $500,000 grant that promotes the development of faculty research and educational programs. Rudell’s proposed research seeks to explore and develop highly-integrated, ultra-broadband, and low-power transceivers, which achieve both low cost and small form factor by utilizing standard digital CMOS technologies.

Broadband wireless Internet access has been identified by the Federal Communications Commission as a foundational necessity for “economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness, and a better way of life.” Existing consumer electronic devices heavily utilize the spectrum around the Very High Frequency (VHF) microwave bands (300MHz – 5 GHz) for radio communication; however, with the proliferation of mobile smart phones, notebook, and laptop computers, the microwave band has become increasingly crowded. In contrast, the spectrum available above 24 GHz, commonly referred to as the millimeter wave (mmWave) band, is sparsely occupied and presents opportunities to address future wireless infrastructure demands. Exploiting these higher frequency bands requires new strategies to realize small, low-cost, broad bandwidth and low power hardware. Although research efforts during the past decade have focused on the realization of practical mmWave hardware solutions, the devices developed thus far have yet to experience widespread adoption, due in large part to the increased complexity associated with operating at such high frequencies. Rudell’s research seeks to not only improve upon the existing hardware technology, but to transform it with new radio architectural techniques. In addition to expanding consumer markets, the hardware solutions will also benefit scientific and medical research such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging systems and transceivers for 5th Generation (5G) mobile devices.

Rudell is the director of the Future Analog Systems Technology (FAST) Lab. The research conducted in his group focuses on a broad range of cross-disciplinary topics which loosely follow a common theme of realizing high-performance analog, mixed-signal and high-frequency RF/mmWave band circuits in standard digital CMOS technologies. His lab is currently engaged in research related to both communication and biomedical applications. Also, as an active member of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), a NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC), the lab is exploring and addressing the challenges of realizing single-chip CMOS neural interfaces.

Rudell joined the UW faculty in 2009. He received degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan (BS), and UC Berkeley (MS, Ph.D.). After completing his Ph.D., he spent several years working both in RF IC design and technical management roles at Berkana Wireless (now Qualcomm) and Intel Corporation. While a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, Rudell received the Demetri Angelakos Memorial Achievement Award, a citation given to one student per year. He has twice been co-recipient of the best paper awards at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the first of which was the 1998 Jack Kilby Award, followed by the 2001 Lewis Winner Award. In 2008, he received the ISSCC best evening session award and was the co-recipient of IEEE RFIC Symposium best student paper awards in 2011 and 2013.

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