Primary links

ECE Highlights and Research

Electronic Circuits and Systems

This program involves the study and design of microwave, radio frequency (RF), analog, mixed-signal (combined analog and digital), and digital electronic circuits and systems. Emphasis is on the development, analysis, and implementation of integrated circuits for applications such as wireless and wireline communication systems, microwave and millimeterwave communication and radar systems, and interfaces between computers and sensors. A large effort on RF MEMS (micro-electro-mechnical-systems) emphasizes RF tunable filters and reconfigurable antennas, ultra-fast and very high reliability RF MEMS devices.

Other areas of study:

  • Low-noise and power amplifiers
  • Mixers
  • Phase shifters
  • Voltage controlled oscillators
  • Frequency synthesizers
  • Active filters
  • Ultra-wide-band transceivers
  • Phased arrays
  • Circuits for multiple antenna combining (MIMO)
  • On-chip and planar antennas
  • Pipelined analog-to-digital converters (ADCs)
  • Delta-sigma ADCs and digital-to-analog converters (DACs)
  • Wireless receiver and transmitter linearization circuits
  • Mixed-signal baseband processing circuits
  • High-speed clock distribution circuits...

Faculty: Peter Asbeck • James Buckwalter • Ian Galton • Lawrence Larson • Gabriel Rebeiz • Bang Sup Song • Paul Chau • Sujit Dey • Bill Lin • Kenneth Yun • Walter Ku • Madhu Gupta

Electronic Devices and Materials

Focus on the fundamental physics and device applications of advanced electronic and optoelectronic devices, MEMS, as well as on the science and engineering of new materials and device structures at the micro-, nano-, and atomic scales. The program also explores broader applications in revolutionizing electronics, optoelectronics, and medicines.



Research areas:

  • Compound semiconductor epitaxial growth and heterostructure devices
  • Advanced CMOS devices and circuits
  • Spin-related devices
  • Advanced optical MEMS and RF MEMS
  • Organic and inorganic semiconductor nano structures
  • Micro- and nano-fabrication
  • Advanced technologies for nanoscale imaging and metrology
  • Photovoltaics and renewable energy
  • Fusion energy materials and engineering
  • Printed and Flexible Electronics

Application areas:

  • Wireless communications and other high-frequency systems
  • High-speed optical communications and microwave photonics
  • Information storage and manipulation
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Biological and chemical sensing
  • Drug delivery and medicines...

Faculty: Peter Asbeck • Sadik Esener • Shaya Fainman • Eric Fullerton • S.S. Lau • Yuhwa Lo • Vitaliy Lomakin • Lawrence Larson • Shayan Mookherjea • Farrokh Najmabadi • Gabriel Rebeiz • Yuan Taur • Charles Tu • Deli Wang • Paul Yu • William Chang • Huey-Lin Luo • Harry Wieder • Tse Nga (Tina) Ng


Programs encompass interdisciplinary activities in optical science and engineering, optical materials and device technology, optical communications, computer engineering, and photonic systems.



Research areas:

  • Ultrafast and nonlinear optics
  • Quantum computing and communications
  • Nanophotonic materials/devices and nearfield phenomena
  • Optical imaging
  • Multi-dimensional optoeletronic I/O devices
  • Volume and computer generated holography
  • Optoelectronic and microelectromechanical devices and packaging
  • Injection lasers
  • Photodetectors

Application areas:

  • Optical interconnects in high-speed digital systems
  • Optical multidimensional signal and image processing
  • Ultrahigh-speed optical networks
  • 3D optical memories and memory interfaces
  • 3D imaging and displays
  • Nanophotonic and biophotonic systems

Faculty: Anthony Acampora • Sadik Esener • Shaya Fainman • Joseph Ford • Clark Guest • Sing Lee▪ Yuhwa Lo • Shayan Mookherjea • Farrokh Najmabadi • George Papen • Stojan Radic • Charles Tu • Paul Yu • Pankaj Das • William Chang

Communication Theory and Systems

Emphasis ranges from abstract theory and performance analysis to system design and implementation. A broad range of issues in communication systems is studied:



  • Communications networks
  • Data compression
  • Signal processing
  • Digital communications
  • Error correcting code
  • Information theory
  • Magnetic recording
  • Spread spectrum
  • Wireless communications
  • Multi-user communications
  • Image and speech coding
  • Time-series analysis

Faculty: Anthony Acampora • Pamela Cosman • Massimo Franceschetti • Tara Javidi • Young-Han Kim • Robert Lugannani • Elias Masry • Laurence Milstein • Alon Orlitsky • Bhaskar Rao • Ramesh Rao • Paul Siegel • Alexander Vardy •  Kenneth Zeger • Pankaj Das • John Proakis • James Zeidler

Computer Engineering

Program encompasses study of systems both from a hardware and software perspective. It promotes the knowledge and skills in the areas of hardware and software that the modern-day computer engineer requires in order to make optimum system tradeoffs in design. This approach also enables engineers to consider all paths towards the resolution of outstanding research issues. One focus is embedded system design, which has grown into far more than the study of pure microprocessors. Due to advances in technology and miniaturization, exciting new devices incorporate wireless communications and myriads of embedded sensors together with processing and storage capabilities. Areas of interest include:



  • Computer-aided design
  • Processing technologies
  • Sensor networking
  • Multimedia systems
  • Multiprocessing and parallel and distributed computing
  • Computer communications and networks

Faculty: Sujit Dey • Clark Guest • Andrew B. Kahng • Bill Lin • Kenneth Yun • C.K. Cheng • Rajesh Gupta

Intelligent Systems, Robotics, and Control

This highly interdisciplinary field focuses on the application of advanced mathematical, statistical, and information-theoretic computer science and algorithmic methods to the problem of analysis and modeling of complex non-deterministic and uncertain human-interactive systems and environments. Opportunities exist for cross-disciplinary interactions with other departments and research units at UC San Diego. Areas of interest include:

  • Learning-based and adaptive control theory
  • Computer vision
  • Speech recognition
  • Statistical learning theory and pattern recognition
  • Robotics
  • Digital, statistical, and multi-resolution signal and image processing systems
  • Image understanding and visual recognition
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Dynamic multi-object classification for tracking and threat assessment and detection
  • Nonlinear control of graph-structured articulated robotic systems
  • Bioinformatics and financial risk-assessment using Bayesian learning-based detection and regression

Faculty: Pamela Cosman • Kenneth Kreutz-Delgado • Gert Lanckriet • Truong Nguyen • Bhaskar Rao • David Sworder • Mohan Trivedi • Nuno Vasconcelos • Robert Hecht-Nielsen

Signal and Image Processing


Program encompasses issues related to the modeling of signals, starting from the relevant physics, developing and evaluating algorithms for extracting information from the signal, and implementing these algorithms in both software and hardware. Theoretical areas include:

  • Transform theory
  • Statistical signal processing
  • Linear systems theory
  • Sensor array processing
  • Pattern recognition
  • Machine Learning

Application areas:

  • Sonar
  • Radar
  • Speech compression and recognition
  • Image compression, analysis & processing
  • Video compression, analysis & processing
  • 3D video compression, processing and visualization
  • Computer audition, Music information retrieval
  • Multimedia
  • Computer vision
  • Sensor networks
  • Wireless communications



Faculty: Pamela Cosman • Kenneth Kreutz-Delgado • Gert Lanckriet • Truong Nguyen • Alon Orlitsky • Bhaskar Rao • Mohan Trivedi • Nuno Vasconcelos • Kenneth Zeger • William Hodgkiss • James Zeidler