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Electronics Systems : Trends and Challenges


The world of electronics is witnessing a revolution in the way products are conceived, designed and implemented. The ever growing importance of the web, the advent of microprocessors of great computational power, the explosion of wireless communication, the development of new generations of integrated sensors and actuators are changing the world in which we live and work. The key concepts for this new world are:

  • transparent electronics, i.e., electronics has to be invisible to the user, it has to help unobtrusively.
  • pervasive computing , i.e., electronics is everywhere, all common use objects will have an electronic dimension.
  • intelligent environments, i.e., the environment will react to us with the use of electronic components. They will recognize who we are and what we like.
  • wearable computing, i.e., the new devices will be worn as a watch or a hat. They will become part of our clothes. Some of these devices will be tags that will contain important information about ourselves.
  • write once, run everywhere, i.e., any information we write down will be recorded and digested by the intelligent environment. We will never have to enter the same information twice.
  • know more, carry less, i.e., the environment will know more about us so that we will not need to carry all the paraphernalia of keys, credit cards, personal I.D.s, access cards, access codes.
The computer as we know it today will soon be dead! Embedded systems will be the dominant electronics devices. To build efficiently embedded systems that are safe, cheap, powerful and consume a small amount of energy, we need to understand deeply the science of design: separation of concerns, abstraction, successive refinement, models of computation. This has a deep implication on how we carry out research and how we structure our courses. In this talk, I will review first some examples of embedded systems and the corresponding technologies. I will then pose some basic questions related to design and present large research programs aimed at solving these problems. I will then use the example of automotive electronics design to illustrate the basic tenets of a rigorous design methodology that uses hybrid systems and models of computation extensively. I will end my presentation discussing the implications on our educational system.

PDF file of slides

Type of Seminar:
New Vistas
Prof. Dr Alberto Sangiovanni Vincetelli
Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair, EECS Dept., University of California at Berkeley, USA Chief Technology Adviser, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Apr 17, 2000   17.15

Contact Person:

Prof. Manfred Morari
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli holds the Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley where he has been on the Faculty since 1976. He obtained an electrical engineering and computer science degree ("Dottore in Ingegneria") summa cum laude from the Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy in 1971. In 1980-1981, he spent a year as a Visiting Scientist at the Mathematical Sciences Department of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. In 1987, he was Visiting Professor at MIT. He has held a number of visiting professor positions at the University of Torino, University of Bologna, University of Pavia, University of Pisa and University of Rome. He was a co-founder of Cadence and Synopsys, the two leading companies in the area of Electronic Design Automation. He was a Director of ViewLogic and Pie Design System and Chair of the Technical Advisory Board of Synopsys. He is the Chief Technology Advisor of Cadence Design System. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Cadence, where he is the Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Sonics Inc., and Accent, a ST-Cadence joint venture. He is the founder of the Cadence Berkeley Laboratories and of the Cadence European laboratories. Dr. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli was the founder of the Kawasaki Berkeley Concept Research Center, where he holds the title of Chairman of the Board. He has consulted for a number of US companies including IBM, Intel, ATT, GTE, GE, Harris, Nynex, Teknekron, DEC, HP, Japanese companies including Kawasaki Steel, Fujitsu, Sony and Hitachi, and European companies including SGS-Thomson Microelectronics, Alcatel, Daimler-Benz, Magneti-Marelli, BMW, Bull. He is the Scientific Director of the Project on Advanced Research on Architectures and Design of Electronic Systems (PARADES), a European Group of Economic Interest supported by Cadence, Magneti-Marelli and ST Microelectronics. He is on the Advisory Board of the Lester Center of the Haas School of Business and of the Center for Western European Studies and a member of the Berkeley Roundtable of the International Economy (BRIE). In 1981 he received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California. He received the worldwide 1995 Graduate Teaching Award of the IEEE (a Technical Field award for ``inspirational teaching of graduate students"). He has received numerous awards including the Guillemin-Cauer Award (1982-1983) and the Darlington Award (1987-1988). He is an author of over 480 papers and ten books in the area of design methodologies, large-scale systems, embedded controllers, hybrid systems and tools. Dr. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli is Fellow of the IEEE and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli was the Technical Program Chairperson of the International Conference on CAD and his General Chair. He was the Executive Vice-President of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. In 1999, he has been awarded the CASS Golden Jubilee Medals to a set of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society members in order to express its appreciation for their exceptional contributions toward advancing in various forms the Society's goals during the first fifty years of its existence.