USF has teamed up with industry leaders such as IBM and Intersil to create a program in which students can work with designing in cutting-edge wireless technology. The program will include courses that deal with Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits technology.
RFIC technology helps to create silicon chips that are fast, small and have high performance, said Lawrence Dunleavy, a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Wireless and Microwave Technology Information Center.
“We wanted to create an exciting program that was mostly connected to what was happening in industry,” Dunleavy said.
One of the applications that the RFIC s being designed for at the WAMI Center is wireless technology. Dunleavy said applications it could be used for include hands-free cell phone technology, wireless local area network cards and global positioning network technology.
Other companies involved in the partnership are Insyte, Agilent and Cadence. The companies will be providing faculty and students with training materials and software for designing RFIC technology and will also come in for guest lectures during the courses, Dunleavy said.
Dunleavy said the staff at the WAMI Center hopes that this new sequence, along with the tools provided, will help set the stage for research projects and will also help students get involved with the industry.
“Students are excited about the technology. They are in a position to go out and get jobs, and some want to stay and pursue graduate studies. It’s our hope that we can attract research sponsors so that the students can utilize what they have learned in this course sequence,” Dunleavy said.
The course also offers students a chance to become involved in an industry that is just developing and needs more experienced engineers, said Thomas Weller, co-director of the WAMI center.
“Three or four years ago, you couldn’t find anyone to design RFIC, even if you wanted to. We are really meeting a need in an industry that needs to be filled in terms of graduating engineers that understand this technology,” Weller said.
Many of the students who have already taken the course found the sequence informative in terms of learning and networking.
“It was an excellent class and was very interesting because it was taught by many local companies that have a strong background in design,” said Anthony Webster, a graduate of USF who completed the sequence.
“If you are interested in state of the art technology and being on the cutting edge of technology, I would recommend taking this class. It is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and not many schools have the capabilities that we have.”