The University of Southampton

Microelectronics researcher celebrated at IET Postgraduate Awards for research into 3D chips

Published: 11 December 2018
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Ben Fletcher has been awarded a scholarship by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Postgraduate researcher Ben Fletcher from the University of Southampton has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The electronics engineer, who is completing an internship in the Arm-ECS Research Centre, will use the funding to continue his exploration of low cost 3D integration for the Internet of Things.

He was presented the prize at the IET Achievement Awards ceremony in Central London last month, which celebrated high-quality engineers and encouraged them to develop successful academic research careers.

Ben spent the first 18 months of his PhD within Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science and started an internship with Arm in the summer. He is now pre-dominantly based at Arm’s Cambridge office, within the Devices Circuits and Systems research group.

“I’m delighted to have been awarded a postgraduate prize,” Ben says. “The IET Postgraduate Awards are highly competitive, so this is a great affirmation that the research I’m doing is innovative and significant. I have already been working with industrial sponsors at Arm to fabricate a test chip demonstrating the technology that I have been developing. The award will provide useful funding for the testing and evaluation of this chip but is also a great way of raising the profile of my research and reaching a wider audience.”

Integrated circuits (ICs), or silicon chips, are the building blocks of almost all electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Three dimensional integrated circuits are a new generation of ICs that integrate multiple layers vertically, allowing devices to incorporate more diverse functionality and function quicker, whilst consuming less power. Ben’s research is investigating innovative ways of communicating data between the layers within these new stacked 3D-ICs using wireless communication through inductive coupling.

IET Postgraduate Awards are made on a competitive basis and are assessed by the IET Scholarships Committee. In total, five scholarships and prizes have been awarded this year.

Nick Winser CBE, IET President, said: “Our Postgraduate Scholarships and Prizes form part of the IET’s annual investment of over £1 million in the next generation of engineers. The recipients are carrying out leading research at some of the world’s most recognised universities and their research is supporting the advancement of knowledge throughout the global engineering and technology community.”

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