Tsu-Jae King Liu

UC Berkeley

Tsu-Jae King Liu

Talk Title: Nano-electro-mechanical switches for future computing paradigms

The virtuous cycle of integrated-circuit technology advancement has been sustained for over 50 years, resulting in the proliferation of information technology (IT) with transformative impact on all aspects of life in modern society. With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) there is a growing need for edge computing to process data collected locally before communicating information to the cloud. Since most edge computing and IoT devices are wireless, energy efficiency is of paramount importance, and ideally should not come at the cost of degraded functionality. This presentation will discuss how nano-electro-mechanical (NEM) switches can provide for improved energy efficiency and functionality as compared with CMOS transistors that are used for digital computing today. Recent experimental results for NEM switches fabricated using a conventional CMOS back-end-of-line process will be presented. Finally, a new research direction to enable practical Ising machines for greater computational efficiency will be described, as yet another example of how NEM switch technology can help to sustain the IT revolution.


Tsu-Jae King Liu was born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering at Stanford University in 1984, 1986 and 1994, respectively. She was a scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) before joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996 in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS.

Liu is internationally known in academia and industry for her innovations in semiconductor devices and technology, and is highly regarded for her achievements as an instructor, mentor and administrator. She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a board member for Intel Corp. Among her awards are the Ross M. Tucker AIME Electronics Materials Award for seminal work in polycrystalline silicon-germanium thin films, an NSF CAREER Award for research in thin-film transistor technology, the Intel Outstanding Researcher in Nanotechnology Award, the IEEE Aldert van der Ziel Award for distinguished educational and research contributions to the field of electronic devices and materials, and the DARPA Significant Technical Achievement Award for her role in the development of the FinFET, an advanced transistor design used in high-end computer chips.

In addition to excelling in research, Liu has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing the educational experience of students. Her dedication earned Liu the EE Division Outstanding Teaching Award, UC Berkeley Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award and the Semiconductor Research Corporation Aristotle Award.