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 clock rate data and signal processor applications, high center-frequency and wide bandwidth analog and mixed-signal systems, and the miniaturization and ruggedization of some of these systems. A core portion of our mission is the identification and exploitation of opportunities for technology transfer into Mayo clinical and research operations. The group was created in 1971 by Barry Gilbert, who continues as its director.
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 40 individuals specializes in the design, analysis, and development of: high-speed silicon germanium (SiGe), gallium nitride (GaN), 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 and integrated circuits; and signal integrity and power integrity analyses for complex integrated circuits, circuit boards, and entire large systems. 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 research and development rather than a manufacturing 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 typically 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 in general 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. We frequently arrange nondisclosure agreements, and proprietary information "on loan" to us from corporations or universities is strictly held within the SPPDG only.
Special Purpose Processor Development Group (SPPDG) by job category.