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Navnidhi Upadhyay

Publish Date

13 JUN 2023


Senior Device Engineer Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering

What kind of scientist are you at Intermolecular®, and what do you do? I work at the intersection of electrical engineering, material science, and computer science to innovate and engineer next-generation memory devices and materials for application in both storage and data-centric computing paradigms. My area of expertise is in emerging memory devices (Feet, ReRAM, Selector, 1S1R, 1T1R, etc.), process development, process integration, electrical characterization, and applications of emerging memory devices in non-von Neuman computing. We need brain-inspired electronic hardware to meet the computing need of the data-intensive world we live in today.


What is your favorite part about being a scientist, and how did you get interested in science? My favorite part about being a scientist is leveraging my skillset/imagination to solve scientific problems and innovate. I can’t describe the joy of solving a problem in words. I remember being a curious kid, trying to understand how things around me worked. My initial interest in electronics started with the tinkering of electronic toys/radio, which led me to join one of my friend’s electronics servicing shop, where I began learning about repairing radios and TV sets. It was a joyful and inspiring moment when I assembled a music system for my home all by myself. I got enthralled by semiconductor physics while clearing my doubts raised during servicing electronic equipment at the repair shop with my high school physics teacher. Long story short, this led me to choose semiconductors/electronics as my field of research.


How does your work contribute to material innovation for the future of technology? We need novel electronic memory devices that could be used in a non-Von Neumann computing architecture to meet the ever-increasing processing demands from AI and machine learning applications. Material innovation is crucial for next-generation memory devices. Process integration and electrical characterization provide a way to screen through different candidate materials and synthesis methods on an actual device.  


Tell us about a current project you are working on and how this is an example of materials innovation? We have developed a three-terminal test vehicle that can be used to evaluate the performance of several candidate materials for emerging memory devices. Using this test vehicle, we can evaluate different material stacks and their impact on the device's performance. To perform electrical characterization on these devices, we developed new capabilities in our ETEST lab, which is very important to provide us feedback on our material engineering splits, guide us through the optimization process, and ultimately meet the required device's KPIs.