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Eric Fossum

Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor
Research Interests:

My primary interest area is image acquisition and on-chip vision processing using solid-state imaging devices and low power VLSI mixed signal circuits. This research involves photonics, VLSI circuit design, semiconductor device physics, microfabrication, and materials science.

Scientific, medical, commercial, and defense applications of this technology are also of interest.

At this time I am *not* hiring research assistants or post docs.

Biographical Information:

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1984, Yale University, New Haven, CT.Born and raised in Connecticut, Eric R. Fossum received his B.S. in physics and engineering from Trinity College in 1979 and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Yale University in 1984. In New York City, as a member of Columbia University’s Electrical Engineering faculty from 1984-1990, he and his students performed research on CCD focal-plane image processing and high speed III-V CCDs. In 1990, Dr. Fossum joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and managed JPL’s image sensor and focal-plane technology research and advanced development. While at JPL, he invented the CMOS active pixel sensor (APS) camera-on-a-chip technology and led its development and subsequent transfer of the technology to US industry. The CMOS image sensor technology is now used in most cell-phone cameras, PC cameras, digital SLR cameras, smart cars, swallowable "pill cameras", and in high-resolution, high-speed cameras for special-effects and motion analysis and represents a billion-dollar-plus per year IC business. In 1995 he co-founded Photobit Corporation to commercialize the technology and joined as Chief Scientist in 1996. He became CEO of Photobit Technology Corporation in 2000. In late 2001 Photobit was acquired by Micron Technology Inc. and Dr. Fossum was named a Senior Micron Fellow. He left Micron in 2003. In 2005, he joined SiWave Inc., a developer of MEMS technology for mobile phone handsets, as CEO. He is an Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics at the University of Southern California (USC) where he has taught undergraduate courses since 2001. He served on the Board of Fellows for Trinity College, CT and is a member of the college’s Engineering Advisory Committee. He also performs advisory board and expert witness assignments.

Dr. Fossum has published 235 technical papers, holds 83 U.S. patents, and is a Fellow member of the IEEE. He has been primary thesis adviser to 13 graduated Ph.D.s. He received Yale’s Becton Prize in 1984, the IBM Faculty Development Award in 1984, the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1986, the JPL Lew Allen Award for Excellence in 1992, and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1996. He was inducted into the US Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2003 he received the Photographic Society of America's Progress Medal and in 2004 he received the Royal Photographic Society's Progress Medal, both for the invention of the CMOS active pixel image sensor technology. He founded the biannual IEEE Workshops on CCDs and Advanced Image Sensors and the SPIE Conferences on Infrared Readout Electronics. He has served on program committees for the IEDM, ISSCC, and SPIE conferences. He has served as associate editor for IEEE Trans. on VLSI, guest editor for IEEE JSSC, and was Guest Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Trans. on Electron Devices Special Issues on Solid-State Image Sensors published in October 1997 and January 2003.
Research Areas: