UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Pioneers in High-Speed Electronics and Information Storage Physics Win 2003 IEEE Awards

Peter Asbeck H. Neal Bertram

Two Jacobs School faculty members are being honored with technical awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The prizes put UCSD in a first-place tie with UC Berkeley, the only other institution to win two awards in the just-announced 2003

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Professor Peter Asbeck won the David Sarnoff Award for outstanding achievement in electronics. He was cited for his “development and applications of Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)-based heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs)”—one of the cornerstones of today's highspeed electronics. Over the summer, Asbeck was also named the first holder of the Skyworks Chair in High-Speed Semiconductor Devices and Circuits. “Peter is ‘Mr. HBT’,” said ECE chair Charles Tu. “He was the first to demonstrate high-performance transistors in 1980 using the emerging epitaxial growth techniques of molecular beam epitaxy and metallorganic vapor phase epitaxy.” Asbeck works on HBTs and opto-electronic interface circuits, and is affiliated with the Center for Wireless Communications, where his research focuses on power amplifier and antenna architectures for wireless communications.

The 2003 IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Award went to ECE Professor H. Neal Bertram, who holds an endowed chair in the Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR). A leading researcher in the field of recording physics and micromagnetics, Bertram was cited by the IEEE for “fundamental and pioneering contributions to magnetic recording physics research.” Bertram’s research includes modeling the thermal instability that occurs as device makers try to pack more bits into smaller areas. “If we are going to continue doubling the capacity of hard disk drives every year, we first need to understand the physics,” said CMRR director Paul Siegel. “This honor is richly deserved because Neal has helped pave the way for continuing improvements in magnetic storage devices.”