Research Programme in Energy-autonomous always-on cognitive and attentive cameras for distributed real-time vision with milliwatt power consumption


The team will collaborate with industrial partners and agencies supporting various aspects of the project, from in-kind contribution of 0.7M$ in terms of silicon manufacturing support, to real world datasets, domain expertise and hardware/cloud services for large-scale computation (see letters of support). Their support assures relevance to industrial interest, and alignment with the fast-changing landscape of distributed sensing. Industrial partners cover the key areas that the proposal aims to make an impact on.

Lead Principal Investigator

Massimo Bruno Alioto


Massimo Alioto was born in Brescia in 1972. He took the M.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering in 1997, and the Ph.D. degree in 2001 from the University of Catania. He is currently Associate Professor at the ECE department of the National University of Singapore, where he leads the Green IC group and is Director of the Integrated Circuits and Embedded Systems area.

In 2002, he joined the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Siena as a Research Associate, where he became Assistant Professor (2002) and Associate Professor (2005). In the summer of 2007, he was visiting professor at EPFL - Lausanne (Switzerland). In 2009-2011, he was visiting professor at the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC) at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2011-2012, he was visiting professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2013, he was visiting scientist at Circuit Research Lab - Intel Labs (Hillsboro, OR - USA).

His research interests involve extremely energy-efficient integrated circuits and systems, with his research activity being focused on:

· design of ultra low-power circuits and systems for distributed sensing and ubiquitous computing (e.g., IoT, wearables), including processing, memories, on-chip links, power management, analog interfaces, security, energy harvesting

· energy-quality scalable integrated systems for adaptive and dynamic management of the error-quality tradeoff

· always-on accelerators for data sensemaking and learning systems (vision, audio, gas sensors)

· energy efficiency and resiliency in near-threshold circuits for green computing (from circuits to microarchitectures)

· hardware-level security (crypto, physically unclonable functions, circuit-network protocol co-integration)

· circuit design in emerging technologies.

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Co - Principal Investigators


Feng Jiashi

Assistant Professor

Feng Jiashi got his B.E. degree from University of Science and Technology, China in 2007 and Ph.D. degree from National University of Singapore in 2014. He was a postdoc researcher at University of California from 2014 to 2015. 

His current research interest focus on machine learning and computer vision techniques for large-scale data analysis. Specifically, he has done work in object recognition, deep learning, machine learning, high-dimensional statistics and big data analysis.

Yeo Kiat Seng


Yeo Kiat Seng received the B.Eng. (EE) in 1993, and Ph.D. (EE) in 1996 both from Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Associate Provost for Research and International Relations at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Member of Board of Advisors of the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association, Professor Yeo is a widely known authority in low-power RF/mm-wave IC design and a recognized expert in CMOS technology. 

Before his appointment at SUTD, he was Associate Chair (Research), Head of Division of Circuits and Systems and Founding Director of VIRTUS of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NTU. He has published 8 books, 6 book chapters, over 600 international top-tier refereed journal and conference papers and holds 38 patents. Professor Yeo hold/held key positions in many international conferences as Advisor, General Chair, Co-General Chair and Technical Chair. 

He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) on National Day 2009 by the President of the Republic of Singapore and was also awarded the distinguished Nanyang Alumni Award in 2009 for his outstanding contributions to the university and society. Professor Yeo is an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to low-power integrated circuit design.




Dennis Sylvester is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan.

His research focuses on ultra-low power circuit design (analog, mixed-signal, and digital), small form-factor microsystems, and near-threshold computing. Applications of interest include implantable devices, environmental monitoring, as well as high-performance computing.




Shoushun Chen received his B.S. degree from Peking University, M.E. degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ph.D degree from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2000, 2003 and 2007, respectively. He held a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for one year after graduation. From February 2008 to May 2009 he was a post-doctoral research associate within the Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University. In July 2009, he joined Nanyang Technological University as an assistant professor. Since Sep. 2010, he has been serving as the Program Director (Smart Sensors) of VIRTUS, IC Design Centre of Excellence, NTU. 

Before joining NTU, Dr. Chen had been actively involved in a number of research projects related to VLSI implementation of microprocessor, circuits and systems design for vision sensor, algorithmic design for image processing. In Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Chen was a key backend designer of "Loongson-1"(龙芯一号) CPU which is the first general purpose CPU designed in China. In Hong Kong, his research was mainly related to design and VLSI implementation of ultra-low power and wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors using time encoding techniques and asynchronous readout strategies. At Yale, his work was toward a combination of smart vision sensors and energy-efficient algorithm. 

In NTU, he leads a research team, namely the Smart Sensors group. They aim to foster research, development, and industrial dissemination of knowledge related to the emerging field of sensors and associated systems. They target the combination of custom designed sensor and energy-efficient signal processing algorithms, making it possible to simultaneously increase the computational throughput and efficiency, therefore to translate this success to cost-effective systems with the potential for broad application areas such as Satellite, UAV and UGV. The activity is genuinely multidisciplinary, leveraging knowledge and expertise from fields such as mixed-signal integrated circuits, signal processing algorithms and their VLSI implementation.


ETH Zürich

Luca Benini is the chair of digital Circuits and Systems at D-​ITET ETHZ. He received a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1997. He has served as Chief Architect for the Platform2012/STHORM project in STmicroelectronics, Grenoble in the period 2009-​2013. He is also a professor at University of Bologna and has held  visiting and consulting researcher positions at EPFL, IMEC, Hewlett-​Packard Laboratories, Stanford University. 

Dr. Benini's research interests are in the design of energy-​efficient digital systems with special emphasis on ultra-​low-power System-​on-Chip and green HPC systems.  He is also active in the area of smart sensors and sensor networks for consumer, biomedical and Internet-​of-Things applications. In these areas he has coordinated tens of funded projects, including an ERC Advanced Grant on Multi-​scale thermal management of Computing Systems. He has been general chair of the Design Automation and Test in Europe Conference, of the Network on Chip Symposium and of the  International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-​Aided Design of Circuits and Systems and the  ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems.

He has published more than 700 papers in peer-​reviewed  international journals and conferences, four books and several book chapters. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the ACM and a member of the Academia Europaea. He is the recipient of the 2016 IEEE CAS Mac Van Valkenburg award.