Strojwas honored with 2016 Phil Kaufman Award


January 31, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University Professor Andrzej J. Strojwas received the 2016 Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design (EDA) on Jan. 26 from the Electronic System Design Alliance (ESD Alliance) and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA).

The award honors individuals who have had demonstrable impact on the field of EDA through technology innovations, education/mentoring, or business or industry leadership. Strojwas, the Joseph F. and Nancy Keithley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized for his pioneering research in the area of design for manufacturing in the semiconductor industry. 

Larry Pileggi, the Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that a vast majority of chips manufactured today use methodologies that Strojwas developed.

"Since the 1970s, he has done as much as anyone to co-optimize integrated circuit design and manufacturing, driving the more sophisticated use of design data in [fabrication labs]," he said.

"At CMU, Dr. Strojwas and his colleagues Wojciech Maly and Stephen Director realized that semiconductor yield involves more than controlling contamination in a fab," said Rob Aitken, research and development fellow at ARM Inc. "It is also a consequence of design decisions. This insight led to the observation that yield influencers could be modeled, and that yield could be predicted by building a set of systematic test structures and analyzing the results. This systematic approach in many ways has enabled the fabless semiconductor ecosystem."

"Dr. Strojwas' contributions to improving and streamlining fabrication in the 1990s cannot be overstated," said Rick Wallace, CEO of KLA-Tencor. "Deciding which wafers to inspect and where on the wafer to look were significant decisions. Dr. Strojwas developed a novel methodology using product layout design information to determine critical area-based sampling, reducing the amount of inspection time required and making in-line inspection affordable and effective. All major semiconductor fabs today employ these methods."

Semiconductor manufacturers have benefited from doubling of yield learning rates, resulting in billions of dollars in increased revenue since the 0.35 micron node.

"Dr. Strojwas was instrumental in enabling this by using statistically accurate test chips and simulation for rapid yield learning," said John Kibarian, CEO of PDF Solutions Inc., and co-chair of the ESD Alliance. "His contributions have become industry standards in yield improvement."

"Dr. Strojwas has published his research work extensively, including three books, more than 80 journal papers and nearly 250 conference papers," said Shishpal S. Rawat, president of CEDA. "He has successfully transformed his research into developing Ultra Large-Scale Integration Density (ULSIC) designs with superior manufacturability as well as diagnosing manufacturing process issues that continuously improve line yield for these chips."

"The relationship between design and manufacturing has never been more important, and we must give Dr. Strojwas great credit for recognizing early on that design for manufacturing needed to be a key element of chip design automation," said Bob Smith, executive director of the ESD Alliance. "His work was instrumental in bringing design and manufacturing together in a way that has benefited the semiconductor design and manufacturing communities as well as the broader electronics products markets."

Strojwas has served as chief technologist at PDF Solutions since 1997. He has held positions at Harris Semiconductor Co., AT&T Bell Laboratories, Texas Instruments, NEC, HITACHI, SEMATECH and KLA-Tencor. He has received multiple awards for the best papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing and IEEE-ACM Design Automation Conference. Strojwas is a recipient of the SRC Inventor Recognition Award. In 1990, he was elected IEEE Fellow.

Strojwas earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Warsaw, Poland, and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.