This year’s USA Okawa foundation grant awardees include Professor Melvin A. Breuer from the EE Department. Mel was recognized for his pioneering work entitled “Increasing the Effective Yield of VLSI Chips via Design and Test”. This pioneering work introduces a novel concept of error-tolerance. Professor Breuer was presented his award at a ceremony on October 23 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. In attendance from USC were Professors G. Medioni and C. Raghavendra, the department chairs of Computer Science and EE-Systems, respectfully. Eight people received Okawa awards, representing faculty from USC, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Cal Tech and UCLA. Professor Breuer gave an acceptance speech on behalf of the entire group.
The funds from this award will support Professor Breuer’s radical work in enhancing the functional yield of VLSI die by finding ways to test and employ parts that have defects. Professor Breuer believes that as nano technology, bio-circuitry and quantum computing become more prevalent, the traditional assumption of deterministic and always correct computation will not always be achievable, and that new computational paradigms are need for these new computational fabrics.