UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Von Liebig Center Spin Offs
Two Jacobs School projects supported through the School’s von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement have been licensed to California companies. The transactions represent a first milestone towards the Center’s goal of bridging the gap between university research and commercialization.

UCSD recently licensed to Omnilux, Inc. the exclusive rights to patents covering a universal broadband network architecture. Created by ECE professor Anthony Acampora, the invention employs interconnected free space optical beams to provide costeffective broadband service to buildings over campus or citywide areas.

The Omnilux technology delivers 100 megabits per second of bandwidth up to a rooftop “node” that provides network connectivity to users through standard Ethernet. This solution enables service providers and systems integrators to extend existing high speed networks to customers without having to undertake their own costly “last-mile” construction, such as digging up the streets to lay cable to individual businesses or installing expensive radio-frequency wireless towers.

New Concept in Molecular Diagnostics
Bioengineering professor Michael Heller and his student Ben Sullivan received von Liebig Center seed funding to commercialize a nanotechnology-based approach to genotyping that could significantly improve the speed and accuracy of diagnostic tests. The novel concept represents a new mechanism to detect and precisely identify trace amounts of target DNA without PCR amplification and sample preparation.

Their work led to the start up of Los Angeles-based Pulsar Diagnostics, Inc., which worked with UCSD senior licensing officer David Gibbons to execute an exclusive worldwide license to the technology. CEO Eric Donsky says: "This proprietary platform potentially makes it possible to perform a range of diagnostic tests at the point-of-care, such as the physician's office or the emergency room, which could lead to a dramatic improvement in the quality of patient care." Donsky notes that most diagnostic tests are currently performed at reference labs, therefore delaying the time required to prescribe therapy. Pulsar is in the early stages of commercializing the technology, and is focused on validating the mechanism, prototyping diagnostic devices, and building a comprehensive intellectual property estate.

Circuit Simulator for Full-Chip Analysis
Today's integrated circuits can contain up to 100 million elements packed onto nanometer-sized chips. Simulating and verifying these elements are critical to chip designers, but the sheer density of the latest chips is stretching current simulation tools to their limits. CSE professor C.K. Cheng recently developed a technology for a quick and accurate transistor level, full-chip analysis. The technology is based on a different algebraic formulation as a solver engine. This approach avoids the high complexity and slow convergence of other tools on the market.

Von Liebig Center technology advisors Richard Joy and Tim Rueth approached San Jose-based Fastrack Design (www.fastrack-design.com), a company focused on improving ASIC design productivity. Working with Gibbons, Fastrack recently acquired the exclusive license for this circuit simulation technology.

"Simulation and verification is a major area that requires a lot of improvement to keep up with chip technology advancements," says Fastrack CEO Moazzem Hossain. "We believe the UCSD technology has potential to offer significant capacity and speed improvement over existing tools for circuit simulation." Fastrack plans to offer value added services and tools solutions using this technology within the year.