Plenary Speakers

Dr. Todd Younkin
President and CEO
Semiconductor Research Corporation

RFIC 2023 Plenary Talk #1
"The Roaring 20s: A Renaissance for the Semiconductor Industry?"


Dr. Younkin will share his vision for the future of global semiconductor technologies and design, especially those that will enable future RFIC breakthroughs. Dr. Younkin will discuss the status of government investments and opportunities arising from the CHIPS and SCIENCE ACT of 2022, Korea’s K-Belt strategy, Europe’s CHIPS ACT, and more. Dr. Younkin leads a global research agenda of about $100M annually, supported by ~3k academic and industrial researchers, 27 international companies, and 3 U.S. government agencies (DARPA, NSF, and NIST). They have defined the opportunities for future compute and communication systems, as outlined by SRC’s 2030 Decadal Plan for Semiconductors, and are now working with over 90 organizations to define the semiconductor hardware opportunities that will deliver that required system performance, via the NIST Microelectronic and Advanced Packaging Technologies (MAPT) Roadmap, awarded in April 2022 and scheduled for completion by September 2023.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Todd Younkin is a talented and seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in technology innovation. His extensive Research and Development experience spans Intel’s 0.18 mm to 5 nm nodes with technical contributions in novel materials, nanotechnology, integration, advanced lithography, and integrated photonics. Todd brings a wealth of expertise with strengths in areas such as cultivating relationships with strategic partners, entrepreneurship and investment strategies, technology innovation, operational excellence, and talent management. He has spent much of his career working alongside young minds that are aspiring to influence the ever-changing world of smart and autonomous electronics. He has built programs from the ground up, leveraging his entrepreneurial leadership to drive new business development that has generated multi-millions in funding. He has been a key contributor in introducing new technology advances and starting new global research in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Dr. Younkin holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. He aspires to continue to influence the next generation of technology and inventors, bringing ideas and investors together to drive heterogeneous electronic solutions that will deliver a smarter, shared future.

In August of 2020, Dr. Todd Younkin became the President & CEO of SRC. Recently, he engineered, launched, and led all programmatic aspects of the five-year, $240 million JUMP research initiative. It has six multi-university, multi-disciplinary innovation Centers with 133 faculty, 835 students, and 360 industrial engineering liaisons. It emphasizes the advancement of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Materials to secure continued U.S. thought leadership. Following his appointment, SRC released its 2030 Decadal Plan for Semiconductors, where it identified the five “seismic shifts” shaping the future of information and communication technologies (ICT). Working closely with SIA, SRC called for greatly increased federal investments throughout the decade to establish a smarter pipeline for semiconductor R&D, aligned to SRC’s Decadal Plan. This drove and resulted in the passage of the CHIPS and SCIENCE ACT of 2022 on August 9th, 2022.

Todd’s excited by the worldwide call for a renewed investment in semiconductor materials, hardware, and design, as well as the equally important calls for an emphasis on education and workforce development and our need for environmental sustainability. Only by investing in a bright, collective future, will we rise to the meet the opportunities presented by the next industrial revolution.

Prof. Mau-Chung Frank Chang
Wintek Chair in Electrical Engineering and Distinguished Professor
University of California, Los Angeles

RFIC 2023 Plenary Talk #2
"Future System-on-Chip for Full Spectrum Utilization from RF to Optics"


The ever-increasing bandwidth requirement due to explosively growing 5/6G and AIoT data flows has compelled global commission authorities to release EM-spectra up to millimeterwave (30-300GHz) and even (sub)-millimeter-wave frequency regimes (>300GHz) for massively expanded sensing and network applications. In this talk, we will exemplify novel CMOS embedded technologies and methodologies developed at UCLA to enable System-on-Chip (SoC) realizations for multi-broadband radio, wideband radar, contactless/plastic interconnect, 3Dimaging and gas-phase rotational spectrometry at (sub)-mm-Wave frequencies, including:

  • DiCAD (Digitally Controlled Artificial Dielectric), the only proven Digital-to-Permittivity Converter (DPC), embedded in CMOS-switched interconnects that can vary transmission-line permittivity in real-time (up to X20 in practice) for (sub)-mm-wave frequency synthesis, direct-frequency modulation and reconfigurable (software defined) radio/radar/spectrometer implementations
  • Self-Healing Radio (57-64GHz) with self-diagnosis and self-healing capabilities to secure high performance-yield and counter temperature/process variations & aging effects
  • Multiband RF-Interconnect, beyond traditional baseband-only interconnect, to enable contactless and/or plastic waveguide communications up to Terahertz with unprecedented bandwidth, efficiency, dynamic re-configurability & multi-cast capabilities
  • Fully integrated frequency synthesizer (PLL) at 560GHz and realized 1st active and passive CMOS imagers at 110GHz; 3-color (349/201/153GHz) and 3D imaging radars for sensing/ranging concealed objects
  • Single-chip CMOS heterodyne H2O-Detecting Spectrometer at 183 GHz to enable NASA’s space exploration missions with reduced mass (6.5X) & power (5.5X) to meet strict payload and energy consumption requirements

We will also address challenges encountered in both design and implementations that may hinder further development of such systems, especially the major shortcomings in silicon technologies with limited dynamic range and power handling capabilities. We therefore propose replacing CMOS n-FET’s drain with selectively grown wide bandgap cubic-phase GaN (c-GaN) for >10X improved breakdown voltages to secure desired sensing/communication range/coverage with cost-effectiveness.

We also elaborate on the possible growth of multi-wavelength light-emitting sources and detectors directly atop n-FET’s c-GaN Drain with various indium contents of InGaN/GaN superlattice for RF-optical combined radio/radar/interconnect applications by creating unprecedented “Photonic System-on-Chip” with full EM-spectrum utilization from RF to optics.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. M.-C. Frank Chang is the Wintek Chair in Electrical Engineering and Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Prior to joining UCLA, he was the Assistant Director of the High Speed Electronics Laboratory of Rockwell Science Center (1983-1997), Thousand Oaks, California. In this tenure, he led the team to develop and transfer the MOCVD based AlGaAs/GaAs & InGaP/GaAs Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) and BiFET (Planar HBT/MESFET) integrated circuit technologies from the research laboratory to production line (later became Skyworks Solutions). The HBT/BiFET productions have grown into multi-billion dollar businesses and dominated the cellphone power amplifier and front-end module markets for the past 30 years (currently exceeding 10 billion units/year and exceeding 50 billion units in the past decade). Throughout his career, his research has focused on the research & development of high-speed semiconductor devices and integrated circuits for radio, radar, imager, spectrometer and interconnect System-on-Chip applications. He invented the multiband, reconfigurable RF-Interconnects for Chip-Multi-Processor (CMP) inter-core communications and inter-chip CPU-to-Memory communications. He and his students were the 1st to demonstrate CMOS active and passive imagers at mm-Wave (100-180GHz) frequencies. His Lab also pioneered the development of self-healing 57-64GHz radio-on-a-chip (DARPA’s HEALICS program) with embedded sensors, actuators and self-diagnosis/curing capabilities; and invented the Digitally Controlled Artificial Dielectric (DiCAD) embedded in CMOS technologies to vary transmission-line permittivity in real-time (up to 20X in practice) for realizing reconfigurable multiband/mode radios in (sub)-mm-Wave frequency bands. His UCLA Lab also realized the first CMOS Frequency Synthesizer for Terahertz operation (PLL at 560GHz) and devised the first tri-color CMOS active imager at 180-500GHz based on a Time-Encoded Digital Regenerative Receiver and the first 3-dimensional SAR imaging radar with sub-centimeter range resolution at 144GHz. More recently, his Lab has devised a Reconfigurable Convolution Neuron Network (RCNN) Accelerator for IoT applications, spun-off an Edge-AI startup company Kneron in San Diego, and won IEEE’s 2021 Darlington Best Paper Award.

He is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the US National Academy of Inventors, the Academia Sinica of Taiwan, and a Fellow of the IEEE. He was also recognized with the IEEE David Sarnoff Award (2006), IET JJ Thomson Medal for Electronics (2017) and IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal (2023) for his seminal contributions to the heterojunction technology and realizations of (sub)-mm-Wave System-on-Chip with unprecedented bandwidth and re-configurability.

Prof. Chang has published more than 460 peer-reviewed technical papers and 60 US patents in various areas of high speed electronic devices and integrated circuits & systems. During his tenure with UCLA, he has graduated more than 50 Ph.D. students and 100 MS students. He also served as the President of the National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan (2015-2019).