Professor of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Departmental Research Area
Integrated Circuits & Systems
Individual Research Interest
VLSI circuits and systems, packaging technologies, CMOS image sensors, smart vision systems, VLSI implementation of artificial neural networks.
Prof Amine Bermak received the Masters and PhD degrees, both in electrical and electronic engineering (Microelectronics and Microsystems), from Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France in 1994 and 1998, respectively. During his PhD, he was part of the prestigious Microsystems and Microstructures Research Group at a major French National Research Centre LAAS-CNRS, where he developed a 3D VLSI chip for artificial neural network classification and detection applications in a project funded by Motorola. While finalizing his PhD, he was offered a Post-doc position at the Advanced Computer Architecture group at York University - England, to work on VLSI implementation of CMM neural network for vision applications in a project funded by British Aerospace and the Yorkshire Post-office. In November 1998, he joined Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia as a research fellow working on smart vision sensors. In January 2000, he was appointed Lecturer and promoted to Senior Lecturer in December 2001. In July 2002, he joined the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), where he is currently a Professor. He is currently the Director of the Master Program in IC Design and he has also served (2006-2008) as the director of Computer Engineering Program with the school's largest undergraduate students intake. He is also the founder and the leader of the Smart Sensory Integrated Systems Research Lab at HKUST. He was a member of the senate committee at HKUST.
Over the last decade, Prof Bermak has acquired a significant academic and industrial experience. He has taught 14 different courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. For his excellence and outstanding contribution to teaching, he is a two-time recipient of the “Engineering School Teaching Excellence Award" in HKUST for 2004 and 2009, respectively. Prof Bermak has been very actively involved in many research and industrial projects in collaboration with Motorola-France, 3D plus-France, British Aerospace-UK, Intelligent Pixel Inc.-USA. His research interests are related to VLSI circuits and systems for signal, image processing, sensors and microsystems applications. He has secured 30 competitive research grants totalling over 21M HK$. Together with his research team, Prof Bermak proposed several novel VLSI architectures and designed a number of prototype chips for various applications including: (i) a world-first 3D VLSI chip for classification applications; (ii) high dynamic range CMOS image sensor based on time-domain encoding and featuring programmable resolution, programmable dynamic range and conversion time; (iii) ultra low-power operating technique for current mediated CMOS image sensor; (iv) a large number of smart vision micro-sensors, in which both the imager and the signal processor were integrated on the same VLSI chip, such as histogram equalization, image compression and image segmentation; (v) the lowest possible power consumption for a proposed time-domain CMOS temperature sensor which was successfully deployed in passive RFID applications; (vi) VLSI implementation of biologically inspired shunting inhibition processing for edge detection and image enhancement; (vii) monolithically integrated gas sensor array with on-chip pre-processing circuitry; (viii) novel algorithmic solutions (such as Gaussian Mixture models, bagging decision trees, spike rank pattern recognition) for gas discrimination and electronic nose applications and their hardware friendly implementation.
Prof Bermak has received five distinguished awards, including the “Best student paper award” at IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems ISCAS 2010 (the conference featured 1081 papers and the paper received the first prize); the 2004 “IEEE Chester Sall Award” from IEEE Consumer Electronics Society; the IEEE Service Award from IEEE Computer Society and the “Best Paper Award” at the 2005 International Workshop on System-On-Chip for Real-Time Applications. Prof Bermak is a member of technical program committees of a number of international conferences including the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuit Conference CICC’2006, CICC’2007, the European Solid-State Conference 2010-11, the IEEE Consumer Electronics Conference CEC’ 2007-11, Design Automation and Test in Europe DATE2007-08. He has published over 190 articles in journals, book chapters and conference proceedings and designed over 25 chips. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society committee on Sensory Systems as well as BIOCAS. He is on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems and IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, the Journal of Sensors, the Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications, and Frontiers in Neuromorphic Engineering. He is the guest editor of the November 2010 special issue in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems.