Monday, Feb. 18. Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Department Head of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at MIT was honored today at the 60th Anniversary Plenary Session of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), for which he has been Conference Chair since 2010. In presenting him with the 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award, the IEEE has recognized Prof. Chandrakasan for outstanding contributions to solid-state circuits in terms of benefit to society, enhancement to technology, and professional leadership.
[Image left: Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan, left, receives the 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award from IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society president Rakesh Kumar at the 60th Anniversary Plenary Session of the IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference awards presentation, Feb. 18, 2013. Photo Credit: Courtesy of ISSCC (Dave Bush)]
Established in 1987 as the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Award and subsequently renamed for UC Berkeley professor Donald O. Pederson, a founder of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society and its scholarly publication, the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits (the JSSC), the Pederson Award is the most prestigious IEEE award in the field of semiconductor circuits. It is typically awarded to an individual whose lifetime career demonstrates the qualities represented by Prof. Pederson.
Stanford University professor of electrical engineering Mark Horowitz, who nominated Prof. Chandrakasan for the Pederson Award, described his motivation in a tribute article in the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine: “I nominated Anantha for the Pederson Award this year because he is one of the most creative circuits people I know, and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving. While young to receive the award, Anantha has been prolific in creating advances that have moved the field into new, interesting areas. So he has already accomplished more than most do in a lifetime.”
In terms of technical contributions, Prof. Horowitz, the 2006 recipient of the Pederson Award, notes that Prof. Chandrakasan’s “incredible breadth as a researcher and innovator allows him cross-layered optimizations that are not possible for many others.” Meeting him for the first time when Prof. Chandrakasan was still a graduate student under UC Berkeley professor Robert Brodersen, Prof. Horowitz immediately recognized not only leadership qualities but also his “tremendous system and circuit design abilities.”
The Pederson award is also given in recognition of teaching and engaging future generations in the field. Prof. Horowitz notes that Prof. Chandrakasan “completely throws himself into teaching, like everything else he does, and he does a fabulous job.” He continues: “MIT has a strong tradition of using its best teachers for undergraduate courses. I would say that Anantha exemplifies the goal that MIT aspires to – an extremely accessible researcher who spends enormous energy creating and teaching at the undergraduate level. He truly believes in the importance of undergraduate teaching.”
The same article describes Prof. Chandrakasan’s leadership roles in ISSCC (the premier conference in the area of solid-state circuits): “While maintaining his prodigious research output, Anantha’s role in ISSCC grew from program committee membership to subcommittee chairmanship, to program committee chairmanship, and conference chair. In all of these roles, his performance has combined fairness, consensus building and decisive action.”
ISSCC 60th Plenary Session honors Top Contributors
As a part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, ISSCC has recognized the “Top Contributors” of technical papers in two categories: first, the top 10 contributors over the past decade (2004 through 2013), and second, the top 12 contributors over the 60-year history of ISSCC (1954 through 2013). Prof. Chandrakasan was cited as the author with the highest number of publications in both categories—36 and 44, respectively.
[Image right: Anantha Chandrakasan receives the ISSCC Top Contributor Award from ISSCC 60th Anniversary Events Chair John Trnka in recognition of Prof. Chandraksan's submission of the most publications (36) in the past decade (2004-2013). Prof. Chandrakasan also received the ISSCC Top Contributor award for the most publications (44) in the 60 year history of ISSCC (1954-2013). Photo Credit: Courtesy of ISSCC (Dave Bush)]
Prof. Chandrakasan presented his PhD thesis research in a paper at the 1994 ISSCC that was titled “A Low-Power Chipset for Portable Multimedia Applications”. Focusing on a low-voltage/low-power chipset for a multimedia terminal, this work has become a landmark in the field. The ISSCC 60th Anniversary Events Chair, John Trnka, notes that “Anantha still holds the record for having the only ISSCC presentation that ever was repeated at the Conference, because there was not enough room in the session to accommodate everyone who wished to see it!”
Writing in the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine, Dennis Buss, consultant to Texas Instruments and a visiting scientist at the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL), discussed the effect that this work had when Prof. Chandrakasan delivered it at the ISSCC: “At a time when switching speed and the silicon area of digital CMOS circuits were the primary design metrics used for circuit optimization, and comparable chips operated at 100X higher power, 5mW for six chips was a revolutionary finding. It shocked the industry.” The paper “Low-Power CMOS Digital Design” by Anantha Chandrakasan and colleagues is the second-most-cited paper in the history of the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Dr. Buss writes, “Today, Anantha’s visionary concepts provide the core ideas for ultra-low-power design for remote sensor and medical monitoring applications.”
MIT EECS In the Media, Aug. 16, 2012: Chandrakasan selected for 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits
[Image right: The 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid State Circuits presented to Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan at the ISSCC 60th Anniversary Plenary Session awards event. Photo courtesy ISSCC.]