Upgrading signal interfaces for better wearable devices

PhD student Hsiang-Wen Chen, who works to improve integrated circuits, was awarded the Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship.

Hsiang-Wen Chen Enlarge
Hsiang-Wen Chen

PhD student Hsiang-Wen Chen has been awarded the Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship – an award that assists outstanding students in Rackham programs who have earned a previous degree from a university in Taiwan.

Chen works with Prof. Michael Flynn on the interface of analog and digital signals. Chen looks for ways to overcome the limitations of analog signals and convert them to digital earlier in the signal chain.

“This process would be most helpful for wearable devices,” Chen says. “They have a pretty strict power limitation. Our work could help minimize the energy consumption of the interface, enhancing the function of the devices.”

Chen is from Taipei City, Taiwan, and he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University. He then came to the U.S. to earn his master’s degree in ECE from U-M, where he took a class taught by Flynn and became interested in pursuing his PhD.

“Mike gives us a lot of research freedom, and he allows us a lot of flexibility on design,” Chen says. “I love that.”

While Chen is only in his first-year of the PhD program, he is interested in a career in industry. He enjoys playing acoustic guitar and tuning cars.