Aaron Voon-Yew Thean is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is also a consulting Fellow to IMEC, a Nano-electronic Research Center, based in Belgium. Prior to joining NUS in 2016, Aaron served as IMEC’s Vice President of Logic Technologies and the Director of the Logic Devices Research. At IMEC, he directed the research and development of advanced device technologies ranging from ultra-scaled FinFETs, Nanowire FETs, to III-V/Ge Channels, Tunnel FETs to emerging Beyond CMOS logic nano-device architectures based on Spintronics and 2-D materials. He has been involved in Design and Process Technology Co-optimizations (DTCO) of emerging technologies targeting 7nm, 5nm, and beyond. Before 2011, he was with Qualcomm’s CDMA technologies in San Diego, California, USA. There, he led the Strategic Silicon Technologies Group responsible for new System-On-Chip technology definition and DTCO for upcoming Qualcomm technologies. From 2007 to 2009, Aaron served as the International Semiconductor Development Alliance (ISDA) FEOL and Device Manager at IBM, where he co-led an eight-company alliance device/process team to develop the 28-nm and 32-nm low-power bulk CMOS technology at IBM East Fishkill, New York. His team developed the Industry’s first foundry-compatible Gate-First High-k Metal-Gate (HKMG) with novel SiGe channel Low-Power bulk CMOS technologies. It enabled some of today’s most successful smart mobile devices in production by the foundry partners.
Before IBM, Aaron was a senior staff scientist with Motorola’s Advanced Product Research and Development Laboratory (APRDL) and Freescale Semiconductor. He subsequently led the Novel Device Research Group there in Austin, Texas. He performed path-finding research on a variety of advanced semiconductor devices that included Strained-Si-On-Silicon, FinFETs, FDSOI, and Nano-crystal Flash Memory. Aaron graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, USA, where he received his B.Sc. (Highest Honors & Graduated as Edmund J. James’ Scholar), M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering. He was awarded the 2001 Gregory Stillman Semiconductor Research Award for his Ph.D. work. He has published over 300 technical papers and holds more than 50 U.S. patents for inventions in the field of advanced electronics. Among his notable recognitions include the 2014 Compound Semiconductor Industry Innovation award for his research group’s break-though III-V FinFET work. In 2013, he was given the Best Collaboration Award from Samsung Electronics Korea for R&D collaborations contributing towards its Semiconductor R&D Center. Aaron received the 2010 Young Alumni Achievement Award from his Alma Mater, University of Illinois, for his contribution to advanced transistor R&D, as well. Most recently, he has been recognized by Singapore National Research Foundation’s Returning Singaporean Scientist Scheme.