Giovanni De Micheli


Giovanni De Micheli

Talk Title: Design should be as simple as possible, but not simpler

Within the various incarnations of computing systems, two groups are going to be significant in the coming decade. High-performance systems exploiting accelerators (ranging from FPGAs to quantum computing) and zero/ultra-low power edge devices. In both cases, there is a plurality of realization technologies that are viable and the choice depends on their cost-effectiveness.

The main show-stopper for early adoption of new devices is the "design" technology. Even when using state-of-the-art CMOS digital design with commercial tools, a successful realization is a major undertaking requiring manpower, complex tool flows and a considerable risk. When considering emerging technologies, the design time, cost and risk are a major roadblock to innovation. These considerations force us to rethink the basic abstractions of computation and composition rules. Simplicity and regularity have been the cornerstone of moving from LSI to VLSI in the eighties. Design automation for complex systems has to release detailed control of some hardware features in view of more global objectives.


Giovanni De Micheli is a research scientist in electronics and computer science. He is credited for the invention of the Network on Chip design automation paradigm and for the creation of algorithms and design tools for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). He is Professor and Director of the Integrated Systems Laboratory at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland. Previously, he was Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He was Director of the Electrical Engineering Institute (IEL) at EPFL from 2008 to 2019 and program leader of the Swiss Federal program. He holds a Nuclear Engineer degree (Politecnico di Milano, 1979), a M.S. and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (University of California at Berkeley, 1980 and 1983).

Prof. De Micheli is a Fellow of ACM and IEEE, a member of the Academia Europaea and an International Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His current research interests include several aspects of design technologies for integrated circuits and systems, such as synthesis for emerging technologies. He is also interested in heterogeneous platform design including electrical components and biosensors, as well as in data processing of biomedical information. He is author of: Synthesis and Optimization of Digital Circuits, McGraw-Hill, 1994, co-author and/or co-editor of ten other books and of over 850 technical articles. His citation h-index is 98 according to Google Scholar. He is member of the Scientific Advisory Board of IMEC (Leuven, B) and STMicroelectronics.

Prof. De Micheli is the recipient of the 2020 IEEE/CEDA Richard Newton Technical Impact Award, the 2019 ACM/SIGDA Pioneering Achievement Award, the 2016 EDAA Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 IEEE/CS Harry Goode award for seminal contributions to design and design tools of Networks on Chips, the 2012 IEEE/CAS Mac Van Valkenburg award for contributions to theory, practice and experimentation in design methods and tools and the 2003 IEEE Emanuel Piore Award for contributions to computer-aided synthesis of digital systems. He received also the Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to the IEEE CAS Society in 2000, the D. Pederson Award for the best paper on the IEEE Transactions on CAD/ICAS in 1987 and 2018, and several Best Paper Awards, including DAC (1983 and 1993), DATE (2005), Nanoarch (2010 and 2012), and Mobihealth(2016).

He has been serving IEEE in several capacities, namely: Division 1 Director (2008-9), co-founder and President Elect of the IEEE Council on EDA (2005-7), President of the IEEE CAS Society (2003), Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on CAD/ICAS (1997-2001). He has been Chair of several conferences, including Memocode (2014) DATE (2010), pHealth (2006), VLSI SOC (2006), DAC (2000) and ICCD (1989).