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  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Software and Design Technology

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Software and Design Technology Virginia Tech



COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

Course info


Equivalence Checking

Nearly all designs require many iterations of optimization, and it is important to check that the design remains the same at each stage. Checking for equivalence in sequential designs is difficult, due to the size of the state space and the fact that the optimized design might have a drastically different set of state variables and encoding. We are working to solve this problem by finding non-trivial static and inductive invariants.

Fault Diagnosis

Semiconductor companies rely on effective tests to distinguish good parts from defective ones, and some defective parts are easier to diagnose than others. Our work explores various strategies to quickly diagnose and root-cause the errors without using traditionally expensive techniques.

Design Verification & Swarm Intelligence

Verification and validation is a critical bottleneck in the design of complex hardware systems, and insufficient verification can compromise both the reliability and security of the system. Virginia Tech research combines swarm-aggregate learning with parallel search to significantly reduce the computational costs.

Multicore Improvements

ECE researchers are working on a variety of projects (including Popcorn Linux) that will improve computer speeds and efficiency by optimizing the use of multicore technologies.

We are developing techniques to automatically transform legacy sequential programs to make use of multicore technology. HydraVM is a virtual machine implementation that refactors sequential programs through program analysis techniques and speculative transactional execution, and transforms sequential code into high-performance parallel code.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - Systems Software and Design Technology.

Full Time (90 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$14,208.00 (10,54,766) per year

USD $14,207.50 for 9 or more credit hours (Fall and Spring Semesters).

*Price shown is for indicative purpose, please check with institution


23-Aug-21, 18-Jan-22


Virginia Tech

925 Prices Fork Road,



24061, United States

Entry requirement for international students

Applicants applying for these degrees program must have an earned Master's degree in CPE, EE or related field.

Minimum GPA: 3.5

A minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test (PBT) or 90 on the internet-based test (iBT) is required for consideration of the application. On the iBT, sub-scores of at least 20 on each subtest (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) are required for admission. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required for admission.

The deadlines are January 15 for fall admission and September 1 for spring admission.

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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