Students' software could increase reliability of computer chips

March 2, 2001 3:37 p.m.

Computer chips are so complicated these days that more than half the time it takes to design them is devoted to checking for errors, and even then designers can't be sure they've caught all the flaws. Entire businesses are built around developing mathematical and computing tools to verify that chips will perform as expected.

So it was a surprise to Sharad Malik, professor of electrical engineering, when two undergraduate students on his research team developed chip checking software that is 10 to 100 times faster than any other tool in existence.

Their software, already being adopted by academic and commercial researchers, has the potential to increase significantly the reliability of new chips and may shorten the design cycle for some products.

"It is an excellent piece of research," said Malik. "I am amazed that they did this when so many people had been looking at this problem for so long."

Matthew Moskewicz and Conor Madigan, members of the class of 2000, worked on the problem for their senior independent work projects and during the following summer.

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Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601