Information, Decision, Networking, and Learning Systems

The research in the area of IDNLS explores the fundamental limits as well as studies new algorithms and methodologies for the analysis, storage, and transfer of information embedded in digital data and signals. Our group has expertise in the areas of communications and coding theory, control systems, information, networking protocols and architectures, optimization, signal processing, system identification, statistical modeling and analysis, and wireless/mobile systems.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering research addresses the design and implementation of computer-based systems for various applications. Computer engineering research at UC Davis is both theoretical and experimental, tackling a wide range of problems in the design of hardware as well as software systems. Specific areas of research include: VLSI design, DSP processor architecture, embedded systems, scalar and parallel computer architecture, parallel computing, reconfigurable computing, compiler optimization, networking, algorithms, and validation of digital systems.

Electronic Circuits

Electronic Circuits group’s interests are in analog and digital circuit design, specifically focusing on designs for integrated circuits in CMOS technologies. The goal of the research is to develop new circuit architectures and techniques that advance the state of the art in specific areas, some of which are listed below.

  • Analog or mixed analog/digital implementations of advanced signal processing algorithms for digital magnetic recording and digital communications, including adaptive equalizers, Viterbi detectors, timing recovery circuits;
  • Baseband and RF analog circuits for digital communication front ends, particularly low-noise and low-distortion circuits;
  • Digital signal processing circuits including dynamic supply voltage, dynamic clock frequency, globally-asynchronous locally-synchronous clocking systems, and networks on chip.
  • Analog-to-digital converters and their calibration;
  • Mismatch insensitive double-sampled delta-sigma modulators;
  • Low voltage circuits for data communications and conversion, and digital signal processing;
  • Circuitry for integrated sensors;
  • Development of CAD software for IC design;
  • Power management for energy harvesting systems; and
  • Design of multi-valued logic.


The research conducted by the photonics faculty crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Research topics include optical communications and computing, nanophotonics, femtosecond pulse shaping for optical communications and arbitrary optical waveform generation, applications of structured supramolecular functional composite materials, plasmonic sensors, biophysics and ultrashort pulse microscopy.

The research activities are distributed among. seven different laboratories that cover an area exceeding 10,000 sq. ft, equipped with state of the art lasers, high frequency RF instrumentation, optoelectronic instrumentation, thirteen optical tables and computer equipment equipped with state of the art optical simulation software. In addition, optical device fabrication and characterization is enabled by the 13,000 sq. ft. by UC Davis Northern California Nanofabrication Center.

RF, Micro, and Millimeter Waves

RF, Micro- and Millimeter-waves constitute a vital area of electrical engineering encompassing design, modeling, simulation, experimentation and analysis of single devices, circuits and packaging with applications to communications, imaging, radar systems and basic science.  Faculty and students are engaged in a range of basic and applied research projects that focus on the efficient generation, propagation and detection of electromagnetic energy in the frequency range from approximately 100 MHz to greater than 1 THz.   Topics of research include:

  • Radio frequency integrated circuits (RF IC)
  • High efficiency wide band gap circuits
  • Active microwave frequency multiplication networks
  • Integrated passive components
  • Millimeter-wave phased array antennas
  • Conformal 2 dimensional microwave antennas
  • Microfabricated millimeter-wave and THz vacuum electronics sources
  • Millimeter-wave passive and active imaging systems
  • RF/Microwave/Millimeter-wave packaging
  • Wireless chemical and bio-sensor nodes and reading systems
  • THz time-domain spectroscopy

Physical Electronics

The Physical Electronics group focuses on theoretical and experimental research projects involving fabrication of electronic materials and new and advanced devices as well as organic and inorganic micro/nanostructures for device applications. A major focus is creating technologies that enable new levels of performance in devices, circuits, systems, sensors and energy conversion/harvesting. The UC Davis Nanofabrication Facility (known as Northern California Nanofabrication Center), with over 13,000 square feet of class-100 cleanroom, is the largest modern teaching and research facility of its kind in the U.S for micro and nano devices, biotechnological fabrication and integration. In addition, there is a Materials Science Central Facility and Advanced Characterization Lab to facilitate the research activities in this field.