Recent site activity

Work experience

Current position since 2004: Research Staff Member (RSM) at IBM

Company: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

Job qualification/definition: Research Staff Member (RSM)

Major activities: The work concerns the development and use of advanced techniques for the testing of high-speed circuits and microprocessors, with particular focus on optical techniques based on the detection of intrinsic emission from circuits. In specific two major activities are the development and improvement of hardware tools (high quantum efficiency detectors, measurement setups, acquisition and analysis software), and the invention of new testing methodologies. The novel superconducting detector has been used extensively for the last years and has helped diagnose more than a dozen critical problems on several IBM microprocessors. He also continues to advance the state of the art of optical testing as demonstrated by more than 30 papers published in international conferences and journals, as well as several patent applications.

Leadership: Drive the evaluation and adoption of new high-sensitivity low-jitter single-photon detectors. Develop new optical diagnostics techniques for ICs.

Major achievements: Developed a technique for the extraction of power noise components from the measurements of Light Emission from Off-State Leakage Current (LEOSLC). Developed a technique for the estimation of the slew rate of the signal inside a VLSI chip based on optical measurements. Publications related to the SSPD detector lead to a conference best paper award (ESREF Best Paper Award 2002).


Apr. 2002-2004: Post-doc position at IBM

Company: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

Job qualification/definition: Post-doc researcher

Major activities: The research activity during this period concerned two major topics. First, the use of optical techniques to study a circuit failure mechanism known in the industry as “latchup”: specifically the conditions that cause the onset of this failure mechanism. He was quickly able to come up with a novel testing procedure to study the latchup ignition using light emission. The capability of tracing the latchup creation by images dramatically simplified the understanding of the root cause and helped define the design rules to eliminate this problem from IBM product chips. This work saved IBM development time and money. He was awarded an IBM Research Division Technical Award in 2003 for this work and he has published a series of papers related to this work in technical journals and conferences. A second major project involved developing and improving novel photon detectors. He used his expertise in high-sensitivity single photon detectors and time-correlated single photon counting to advance the performance of novel detectors made with superconducting materials. Some of the most innovative results were presented in an international conference paper titled “Testing of Ultra Low Voltage VLSI Chips using the Superconducting Single-Photon Detector (SSPD)”. For this paper, Dr. Franco Stellari was awarded the Best Paper Award at the European Symposium on Reliability of Electron Devices (ESREF) 2004.

Leadership: Drive the optical part of the latchup testing of several chips. Drive evaluation of the SSPD detector on modern VLSI circuit. Collaborate to its implementation in a commerical tool.

Major achievements: IBM - Research Division Technical Group Award


Jan. 2002-Apr.2002 Research contract at PoliMi

Company: Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Job qualification/definition: Research contract

Major activities: In these months the research activity focused on the development of a novel optical diagnostic procedure for testing the control electronics surrounding a new flash memory array from STMicroelectronics, Agrate Brianza, Italy. He was also in charge of supervising and directing the work of two undergraduate students. Several papers were later published on this topic..

Leadership: Direct the activiry of two undergraduated students.


2001: Internship at IBM

Company: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

Job qualification/definition: Summer internship

Major activities: Develop new testing and diagnostics techniques for VLSI chips, based on the detection of the Light Emission from Off-State Leakage Current (LEOSLC). Develop several electrical/optical acquisition setups and software for instrumentation control and data collection.

Leadership: Diagnostics of a fail based on the use of LEOSLC.

Major achievements: The publications resulting from this activity led to 2 Best Paper Awards (ESREF Best Paper Award 2002 and IEEE-EDS Paul Rappaport Award in 2004)


2000: Internship at IBM

Company: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

Job qualification/definition: Summer internship

Major activities: Characterize and model the near infrared emission from CMOS transitors to allow for: simulations, comparison with real measurements, and extrapolation of emission trends in future scaled technologies. 

Leadership: Develop several electrical/optical acquisition setups and software for instrumentation control and data collection.


Last updated 2009-01-24