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Rajesh Gupta Named to Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Embedded Microsystems

CSE professor Rajesh Gupta sees plenty of opportunity ahead for computer engineers who are well-rounded. "Companies are looking for talent that is rooted in the basics of computer engineering, but also for engineers who can understand the design domains," says Gupta, a former Intel design engineer. "As more functions are built into microelectronic chips and new capabilities emerge in embedded systems, microelectronic computing will become an even greater part of our daily lives. We are in the initial stages of what is likely to be an explosion in computing devices, appliances, and networks. The underlying need for computer engineers is unlimited."

In May, UCSD named Gupta as the first holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Embedded Microsystems. The chair is the first funded by QUALCOMM at the Jacobs School through its corporate commitment to the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)²]. Company founder Irwin Jacobs noted Gupta's "expertise and dedication to mobile computing, and his role in the development and education of future technology leaders."

Indeed, since joining UCSD from UC Irvine in November 2002, Gupta has moved quickly to forge an agenda for the Jacobs School and Cal- (IT)² in the area of sensor networks and embedded systems. He works closely with other faculty on several new initiatives to design the architectures of these systems as they get smaller and smaller. "Interestingly, the capability to manufacture systems-on-chip is already here, but what is not here is the architectural design and validation of these systems," says Gupta. "So even though we can go up to a hundred million transistors on a chip, we just don’t yet know how to put them together properly."

A pioneer in "codesign" of hardware and software for embedded systems, Gupta's current research is focused on mobile computing, energy efficient system software, and new architectures for mobile devices that take into account their constraints on battery life, footprint, and memory.