Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9560
Member of Computing Solutions Group
Forrest Brewer's research focuses on VLSI design and coupled tools development based on systematic and formal approaches as well as heuristic analysis. Further research involves processor and controller development for embedded, low power and environmentally challenged applications. He also works on interfacing and sampling-based mixed signal design aimed at high loop bandwidth, extreme low power control.
Forrest Brewer joined the UCSB faculty in 1988, he was formerly a consulting engineer and a senior engineer at Northrop Corp. Advanced Technology Division. His research interests are in VLSI design as well as computer aided design tools and analysis. Recent work is in the development of a family of specialized microprocessors for low-power/ high-performance embedded closed loop control. This work spans mixed signal design at the sensor and actuator interfaces to multi-threaded digital system design in the digital processing parts. By using multi-threading and other architectural tricks, substantial power reduction and performance improvement is possible when compared to commodity DSP processors for this problem. A related issue in this domain is fault tolerance in the controller as such controllers are often deployed in nasty environments such as automobiles or space applications. He also works on formal techniques for design representation and related software tools as well as generic chip feasibility and design analysis which are done on a consulting basis. An example of the formal work is the processor designs above, which are specified in TDL, a very high level language which provides latency tolerance as well as eliminating a large number of critical paths in the resulting core.