Forum 2: The Future of Circuits and Systems


Dr. Robert W. Newcomb


Past and current presidents of the CAS Society:
Dr. R. J. P. de Figueiredo (1998) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. G. De Micheli (2003) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. M. N. S. Swamy (current president) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. G. Gielen (president elect) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. J. Nossek (2002) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. H. Reddy (2001) (Opening Statement/Bio)
Dr. B. Sheu (2000) (Opening Statement/Bio)

Time & Location

Monday, May 24 2004, 17:45 - 19:15, Location: Junior Ballroom


The Circuits and Systems Society played an important role in pioneering many of the technology developments on all fronts over the past 45 years. In the new era of molecular electronics, quantum signals, and micro/nano devices, what will be the future role of Circuits and Systems? What are we planning for the future? What is our vision so as to keep our pioneering role? What can we add so that the Circuits and Systems Society will stay at the center of such breathtaking technologies? Leaders of the society will be debating these issues and trying to formulate a vision and guidelines for our future directions.

Panelist Information

Dr. R. J. P. de Figueiredo (1998)

This is a moment of great opportunity for the IEEE Circuits & Systems Society. The breadth of interests of its members can be turned into an asset if their multi-faceted talent and expertise are unleashed to enable the vertically (abstraction, algorithm, architecture, design, implementation) and horizontally (communication, control, computing) integrated solutions that most of the applications of the New Era Technology require.

I believe that, in the future, the Society’s technical concerns ought to extend beyond the current issues of (nano- to giga-scale) STRUCTURE to those of high-level FUNCTIONALIY. Thus new attention ought to be paid to issues like the adaptation, learning, evolution, discovery, and invention capabilities of these structures. More generally, the Society ought to be concerned with issues of how to optimally combine structure with functionality w.r.t. the system ability to best acquire or create, organize, and utilize application-specific knowledge in the various domains of interest to industry and to the public sector. In particular, attention ought to be paid to the problems of identification or insertion of computational intelligence in natural (biological), hybrid, and artificial systems, devices, and circuits.

With the above in mind, the Society ought to continually update the organization of its publications, conferences, and workshop activities (all of which I will denote simply by “products”) w.r.t. the following points: (1) Identify crisply the Society’s multiple application-specific foci or targets of opportunity (circuits and systems for what?); (2) Make sure that the (x,y) (horizontal and vertical coordinates) of the content of the papers in the products are clearly within the range of these foci; (3) Continue to support flagship conferences (like ISCAS’04) to promote and advance inter-foci synergism, and specialty conferences or workshops [like ICCSC’04 (International Conference on Circuits and Systems for Communications, Moscow, June 30 - July 2, 2004)] to promote intra-foci synergism; and (4) Promote genuine cooperation with industry and the public sector by recruiting CTO’s and agencies’ program directors to run for positions in the Board of Governors and/or members of appropriate Technical Committees; and at some major conference events, try to arrange for presentations from industry and the public sector delineating some of the key problems within the Society’s foci in order to help stimulate Society member research in those problem areas.

While I could comment on various other issues of significance, I will stop here to allow my colleagues to express their valued views.

Rui J. P. de Figueiredo, B.S. and M.S. (Electrical Engineering), M.I.T., and Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics), Harvard University, is Professor (Above Scale) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Mathematics, at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is also Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Signal Processing and Communications in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering of UCI. Prior to joining UCI in 1990, Dr. de Figueiredo served as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at Rice University, Houston, Texas (1965-90). Professor de Figueiredo has won a number of honors for his fundamental contributions to the theory and applications of signal/image processing and communications and computational intelligence; and for his role as educator and leader in his field and his profession. These honors include: election to the UN-sponsored International Informatization Academy (2003), the 1999 IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society Golden Jubilee Medal, the 2000 IEEE Tri-Millennium Medal, the IEEE Fellow Award (1976), the 1994 IEEE CAS Technical Achievement Award, the 2000 IEEE Neural Networks Transactions Best Paper Award, the 2003 IEEE Circuits and Systems Transactions Guillemin-Cauer Best Paper Award, the 2002 IEEE CAS Society M. E. Van Valkenburg Society Award, the 1988 NCR Educator-of-the-Year Award, and his election to President of IEEE CAS Society in 1998.

Dr. G. De Micheli (2003)

The presence of circuits and systems in everyone's life is deemed to increase in the years to come. New portable embedded systems, health monitoring devices, and sensor networks are just examples of what we is becoming increasingly pervasive. The application of novel circuit technologies, ranging from carbon nanotubes to macromolecular electronics, opens new avenues for system implementations and new challenging research projects.

While the Circuits and System Society is positioned in the center of the action, it is also at a crossroad. Specialization in different domains has lead scientists to look for specific fora to present their research. The large breadth of the CAS Society may become a handicap due to the lack of a specific focus. In a continuously changing technological and human landscape, IEEE Societies must embrace the challenge of renewal and refocusing to maintain competitiveness and avoid obsolescence.

Giovanni De Micheli is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. His research interests include several aspects of design technologies for integrated circuits and systems, with particular emphasis on synthesis, system-level design, hardware/software co-design and low-power design. He is author of: Synthesis and Optimization of Digital Circuits, McGraw-Hill, 1994, co-author and/or co-editor of five other books and of over 270 technical articles. He is, or has been, member of the technical advisory board of several companies, including Magma Design Automation, Coware, Aplus Design Technologies, Ambit Design Systems and STMicroelectronics.

Dr. De Micheli received the 2003 IEEE Emanuel Piore Award for contributions to computer-aided synthesis of digital systems. He is a Fellow of both ACM and IEEE. He is also Past President of the IEEE CAS Society and member of the IEEE PSPB TAB committee. He was Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on CAD/ICAS in 1987-2001, the Program Chair (1997-1998) and General Chair (2000) of the Design Automation Conference (DAC), and the Program and General Chair of the International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD) in 1988 and 1989 respectively.

Dr. M. N. S. Swamy (current president)

Very few technical societies cover the breadth of technical activities that our CAS Society does. We have sixteen technical committees ranging from Signal Processing, CAD, Nano, and Video to Power Electronics. The contributions of these committees coupled with high quality publications in our journals would set our Society’s future direction and identity, which continues to be a challenging problem.

Our immediate goal is to identify the ways and means for making the CAS Society as one of the most respected societies within the IEEE using its diversity and past traditions as its strengths in developing new theories, present and future engineering challenges such as in nanotechnologies and the application of circuits and systems in bio-technologies.

It is very important that we need to have "Industrial Outreach" in order to attract new members from industry to our Society and involve them actively in the society, whether it be through short courses, emerging technology workshops/ conferences, distinguished lecturers program, publications through CAS Magazine, and/or C & D Magazine. The combined contributions of our membership from industry, universities and R & D laboratories would effectively determine the directions the society would take in terms of these new technologies.

As president this year I am eagerly looking forward to the views of my fellow panellists so that I might take some of the good ideas to our Board of Governors for implementation.

M.N.S. Swamy received the B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in Mathematics from Mysore University, India, Diploma in Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and the M.Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, in 1960 and 1963 respectively. In August 2001, he was awarded a Doctor of Science in Engineering (Honoris Causa) by Ansted University “In recognition of his exemplary contributions to the research in Electrical and Computer Engineering and to Engineering Education, as well as his dedication to the promotion of Signal Processing and Communications Applications”.

He is presently a Research Professor and the Director of the Center for Signal Processing and Communications in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, where he served as the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1970 to 1977, and Dean of Engineering and Computer Science from 1977 to 1993. Since July 2001, he holds the Concordia Chair (Tier I) in Signal Processing. He has published extensively in the areas of circuits, systems and signal processing, and holds four patents. He is a co-author the books: Graphs, Networks and Algorithms (New York, Wiley, 1981), Graphs: Theory and Algorithms (New York, Wiley, 1992), and Switched Capacitor Filters: Theory, Analysis and Design (Prentice Hall International UK Ltd., 1995). A Russian Translation of the first book was published by Mir Publishers, Moscow, in 1984, while a Chinese version was published by the Education Press, Beijing, in 1987. Since its inception, he has been a member of Micronet, a National Network of Centers of Excellence in Canada, and also its coordinator for Concordia University.

Dr. Swamy was elected a Fellow of the in IEEE in 1980. He is also a Fellow of other professional societies including the Institute of Electrical Engineers (UK) and the Engineering Institute of Canada. Presently, he is the President of the CAS Society. He has served this Society in various capacities such as President-Elect in 2003, Vice-President (Publications) during 2000-2002, Vice President in 1976, Editor-in-Chief of the Trans. on Circuits and Systems-I during 1999-2001, Associate Editor of the Transactions on Circuits and Systems during 1985-87, Program Chair for the 1973 ISCAS, General Chair for the 1984 ISCAS, Vice-Chair for the 1999 ISCAS and a member of the Board of Governors of the CAS Society. He is the recipient of many IEEE-CAS Society awards including the Education Award in 2000, Golden Jubilee Medal in 2000, and the 1986 Guillemin-Cauer Best Paper Award. In recognition of the significant contributions made to Canada and the community, he was awarded the commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada issued in 1993 by the Governor General of Canada.

Dr. G. Gielen (president elect)

The IEEE Circuits and Systems Society has to modernize itself, and expand the value and services that is offering to its members, for all members worldwide. This includes initiatives such as stimulating local activities, continued digital archiving, offering excellent tutor materials and a program of bringing the experts to the members, publishing an informative magazine, etc. One of the strengths of the society is that it is at the crosslines of many disciplines, so it should take advantage of this diversity, and stay ahead through the continued embracing of emerging technical developments.

Georges G.E. Gielen received the MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, in 1986 and 1990, respectively. In 1990, he was appointed as a postdoctoral research assistant and visiting lecturer at the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1993, he was appointed as an assistant professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he promoted to full professor in 2003. His research interests are in the design of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, and especially in analog and mixed-signal CAD tools and design automation (modeling, simulation and symbolic analysis, analog synthesis, analog layout generation, analog and mixed-signal testing). He is coordinator or partner of several (industrial) research projects in this area. He has authored or coauthored two books and more than 200 papers in edited books, international journals and conference proceedings. He was the 1997 Laureate of the Belgian Royal Academy on Sciences, Literature and Arts in the discipline of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and President-Elect of the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) society.

Dr. J. Nossek (2002)

This is about the future of Circuits and Systems and about the future of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS). Looking at the proud history of this society, we make an observation which seems to be the strength and the weakness of CASS simultaneously: this society has accomodated many new areas and has helped to develop these topics (like neural networks, solid state circuits ...) and to grow into independent societies. I think it is indeed the strength, but it needs the theoretical basis within CASS. It is my impression that over the years the theoretical basis, i.e. Circuit and System Theory has played a less important role in our conferences and journals. Many important contributions in this direction do not come to ISCAS or to our Transactions on Circuits ans Systems, the will be presented at the MTNS (Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems) conference or at workshops, which have no or only a very loose connection to CAS. We have to think, how we can reinforce this direction through our Technical Committees and through CAS workshops and landmark articles in the CAS Magazine. It must be the contribution with a deep theoretical basis and an application relevance, which we must aim at.

Josef A. Nossek was born on December 17, 1947 in Vienna, Austria. He received the Dipl.- Ing. and the Dr. techn. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria in 1974 and 1980, respectively.

In 1974 he joined Siemens AG in Munich, Germany, as a member of the Technical Staff, where he worked on the design of filters for communication systems. In 1978 he became supervisor of a group working on discrete-time circuits (switched-capacitor and CCD-filters) and from 1980 on he was as Head of Department responsible for electromechanical, microwave and digital filter design activities. In 1982 he moved into Digital Microwave Radio Design, where he first was responsible for high data rate modems employing multi level modulation techniques. In 1987 he was promoted to Head of all Radio Systems Design. Since 1989 he is a Full Professor for Circuit Theory and Signal Processing at Munich University of Technology, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on circuit and systems theory and signal processing and leads research on signal processing algorithms for communications systems, theory of linear systems and VLSI architectures.

From 1999 till 2002 he was Dean of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Munich University of Technology.

He has been a guest professor in 1984 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and in 1992 and 1998 at the University of California at Berkaley and in 1995 at the University of Technology in Vienna.

Prof. Nossek served as Guest Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems in 1993, as Associate Editor during 1991 to 1993 and as Editor-in Chief during 1995 to 1997. He is on the Editorial Board of a number of scientific and technical journals. He was program co-chairman of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing in Munich in 1997. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society from 1998 to 2000. He is a Fellow of IEEE since 1993. His awards include the ITG Best Paper Award 1988, the Mannesmann Mobilfunk Innovationsaward 1998 and the Golden Jubilee Medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society for "Outstanding Contributions to the Society". He was President Elect of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society in 2001, President in 2002 and Past President in 2003.

Dr. H. Reddy (2001)

The Circuits and Systems Society is passing through an exciting period in its 50+ year history. The society's member talents are continuously providing the foundation for technological innovations in electrical, electronics, computer and information engineering. The society in the past few years has been highly responsive to the challenges of emerging technologies such as nano electronics, systems on a chip, circuits and systems for mobile communications, computing and multimedia. This has been done not in isolation, but in concert with other sister societies such as signal processing, solid state circuits, communications and computers. This collaborative effort would continue to benefit every one involved and so must be pursued to advance new technologies. It is also important for the CAS Society to pay special attention and recognize the contributions of our members from industry and R&D laboratories, in order to promote new technologies.

While focusing on new technologies, we should continue to provide the highest recognition to the researchers working on relevant fundamental CAS theories. From the very inception, laying necessary mathematical and physical foundations has been a source of pride and has brought great respect to our society. Consequently, during the past fifty years, our society was able to serve as a great incubator of the fundamental ideas that subsequently impacted in a very positive fashion the present day electrical engineering. This gives us immense confidence in facing the challenges of new emerging technologies of the 21st century. So, the society must create, promote and maintain the necessary environment for research and development that underpins the solutions to these problems. It is indeed challenging for us to make sure that our conference proceedings and journals remain as primary sources for the publication of fundamental CAS theories.

Since its inception, the Circuits and Systems society has been at the forefront of many of the significant advances in electrical engineering. As an example, remember the contribution that our researchers made to the development of CAD of Electronic Circuits - schematic capture, SPICE, and much more. This is taken for granted now, but was initiated by CAS members. This is due to the dedicated scientific leadership provided by many of our distinguished members over the past five decades. All this, in my view, enabled CAS society to be one of the most prestigious societies within the IEEE from the very beginning. Our challenge is to maintain this and also make it a mainstream society for new emerging technical areas of this century. The CAS publications, conferences, emerging technology workshops, CAS technical committees, short courses etc should be geared to meet this challenge. At the organizational level, promoting these objectives requires demanding and dedicated volunteer leadership, professional staff support and adequate financial resources.

Hari C. Reddy received his B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India; the M.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from M. S. University of Baroda, Baroda, India; and the Ph.D. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. He then did two years of post doctoral research work at the Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 1975-1977.

Dr. Reddy has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), as a tenured Full-Professor since 1987. Earlier, he held teaching and research positions at Tennessee Technological University; the State University of New York College at Buffalo; Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; Osmania University, Hyderabad India; and S.G.S. Institute of Science and Technology, Indore, India. During the past ten years he has been a Guest Professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland; and Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Irvine, California.

Dr. Reddy's teaching and research interests are in the broad areas of Circuit Design, Filters, Systems and Signal Processing. His research is concerned with the theory and applications of Multidimensional Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing. He has co-authored about one hundred and twenty five research papers and three book chapters. He attended and presented papers in over fifty international conferences.

Dr. Reddy was a Guest Editor for the special issue (Research and Education: Circuits and Systems) of the IEEE Transactions on Education published in August 1989. He also served as Principal Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Education (1984-'90) and from 1993 to 1996, he was also an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems (Part I). In 1999, Dr. Reddy served as General Chair of the IEEE CAS Society’s 3rd Emerging Technologies Workshop on ‘Mixed Signal Integrated Circuit Design’ held in Long Beach, California. He has also been actively involved with the IEEE-ISCAS for a long time in various capacities.

Professor Reddy served as the President-elect, President and past President of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) in 2000, 2001 and 2002 respectively. Earlier, he served as CASS Vice-President, Conferences for three years (1996, 1997, 1999). From 1993 to 1995, he was a member of the CASS Board of Governors.

Prof. Reddy is a recipient of the 2003 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society’s Meritorious Service Award. Also, in 2003, Prof. Reddy received the diploma of honorary member of the Senate of the Technical University of Iasi, Romania and the “Gh. Asachi” University Medal. Prof. Reddy was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 1992. Prof. Reddy is a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award (1990) and the Outstanding Professor Award (1993) from the California State University at Long Beach. He received (at the 1990 & 1992 Commencements) the TRW Excellence in Research and Teaching Awards.

Dr. B. Sheu (2000)

The field of circuits and systems serves as a critical bridge to link breakthrough device technologies at one hand and the applications at the other hand. Thus, the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society shall continue to embrace the new technologies as it has been doing over the past several years to incorporate key advances in neural networks, multimedia, sensors, wireless, nanoelectronics, and biotechnologies, etc. Dedicated Special Sessions in flagship conferences and Special Issues in society journals can facilitate such process. In addition, efforts in organizing Special Issue in common vehicles such as Proceedings of IEEE can prove to be very rewarding.

The Circuits and Systems Society is to provide the forum for experimentation of new ideas/initiatives in high-tech fields. Thus, it shall possess certain unique features, including but not be limited to:

  1. Scalable: so that event-driven scheduling can be facilitated to allow easy zoom in or zoom out on certain technical areas;
  2. Hierarchical: so that it can accommodate the continuous exponential growth following the Moore’s Law;
  3. Nurturing and Rewarding: so that the pioneering endeavors and efforts by the participants are suitably recognized;
  4. For the 21st Century: so that thinking out-of-box approaches can be encouraged.

Some experiences from initiatives by the Team of Profs. Bing Sheu, Peter Wu, and Chin-Teng Lin at National Chiao Tung University in the pioneering high-tech fields will be presented.

Dr. Bing Sheu obtained B.S. degree (1st among 180 graduates) in EE from National Taiwan University in 1978. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in EE from UC Berkeley in 1985. He joined the faculty in EE at USC during 1985-1998, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1997. He moved to microelectronics and design automation industry in early 1999 and worked at Avant! Corporation (merged into Synopsys in May 2002) during Jan. 1999 - April 2000 then at Nassda Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) and is currently Director of Technology Partnerships. He is also an Honorary Professor at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

Prof. Sheu served as CAS Editor of IEEE Circuits and Devices Magazine during 1995 and 1996, Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems during 1997 and 1998, and Founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia in 1999. He was Guest Editor of 2003 November Special Issue on Nanoelectronics and Nanoscale Processing for Proceedings of IEEE. Prof. Sheu served on Board of Governors for IEEE CAS Society in 1996 and 1997; as Vice President on Conferences in 1998. He was President-Elect, President, and Past President for IEEE Circuits and Systems Society in 1999, 2000, and 2001, respectively. Prof. Sheu was a co-recipient of IEEE Trans. on VLSI Systems Best Paper Award in 1995, IEEE Guillemin-Cauer Award in 1997, and recipient of IEEE CAS Society Golden Jubilee Award in 2000. He is an IEEE Fellow.

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