The Special Purpose Processor Development Group (SPPDG), in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN, is a research team dedicated to developing next generation electronics technology for high speed signal processor applications. We identify and exploit opportunities for technology transfer into Mayo clinical and research operations, but our primary mission is the development of advanced technology for high clock rate digital signal processors and wide bandwidth, high center frequency analog systems.
All research results developed by SPPDG are shared with the signal processor, device development, and electronic packaging communities in the form of published research papers. The SPPDG staff of more than 60 individuals specializes in the design and development of: high-speed silicon germanium (SiGe), indium phosphide (InP), gallium nitride (GaN), antimonide compound semiconductors (ABCS), bulk silicon CMOS and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS digital and analog circuits and devices; electronic packaging for these high clock rate and/or wide bandwidth components; high performance digital signal processors; electromagnetic (EM) modeling tools for circuit boards, multichip modules, and integrated circuits; and design tools for advanced-technology integrated circuits. This research is supported by more than 200 modern computer workstations and servers, and a large disk farm, all connected to one another using the most modern network hardware.
Since the SPPDG functions as a prototype research and development organization, typically no more than a few copies of any demonstration processor are fabricated; the assembly of a larger number of units is considered "production" and is usually subcontracted to other organizations. This concentration on rapid turnaround and limited-quantity fabrication allows processes and techniques to be constantly changed and updated as the various technologies evolve.
The primary output of the SPPDG is not manufactured products, but instead technical information in the form of written reports, oral presentations to professional societies, and research papers published in refereed technical journals. Typically the group produces a half dozen research papers and more than 100 oral presentations each year.
The group has worked with many companies and technologies, routinely and freely exchanging information during collaborative efforts. The group frequently arranges nondisclosure agreements, and proprietary information "on loan" to us from corporations or universities is strictly held within the SPPDG only.