Deming Chen

Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering Director, AMD Center of Excellence Co-lead, IIDAI Hybrid Cloud

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Grainger College of Engineering
Univ of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Office: 250 CSL
1308 W Main St
Urbana, Illinois 61801
217-244-3922 (office)
email: dchen (at) illinois (dot) edu


Dr. Deming Chen obtained his BS in computer science from University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1995, and his MS and PhD in computer science from University of California at Los Angeles in 2001 and 2005 respectively. He worked as a software engineer between 1995-1999 and 2001-2002. He joined the ECE department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and has been a full professor in the same department since 2015. He is a research professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and an affiliate professor in the CS department.

He has published more than 250 refereed journal and conference papers, and book or book chapters in the areas of FPGA (synthesis, computing, architecture), Machine Learning and applications (acceleration, IoT system, algorithm/accelerator co-design), EDA (system-level/high-level/logic synthesis), Heterogeneous Computing (hybrid systems of CPU/FPGA/GPU), and system security. He has served as PI/Co-PI on more than 40 research grants administered by US Federal agencies as well as the industry. In addition, he has been a seconded faculty member for the Illinois ADSC center in Singapore since March 2010. He has received ten Best Paper Awards (ASPDAC'09, SASP'09, FCCM'11, SAAHPC'11, CODES+ISSS'13, ICCAD'15, SLIP'18, ICCAD'18, VLSID'20, and IDEAL'21), an ACM/SIGDA TCFPGA Hall-of-Fame Paper Award, and numerous other research, design competition, and service related awards.

He had led the successful FCUDA open-source project during 2008-2016 that used CUDA language to program FPGAs, offering opportunity to map existing CUDA kernels to FPGAs for low-energy and high-performance computing. The vision and development of such a true parallel-language to FPGA compilation flow was 5-6 years earlier than similar commercial tool flows, such as the OpenCL-to-FPGA flows offered from Intel and AMD-Xilinx. Another signature project was a new DNA error correction tool, called BLESS, that became one of the best error-correction tools targeting large DNA data, but only consumed 40X smaller memory compared to many other tools. BLESS has been downloaded for thousands of times from researchers and users around the world. The most recent representative open-source packages include: RIP, which consists of fast software modeling (320x faster than Gem5), fast hardware modeling (2000x faster than baseline), and near-optimal automated hardware/software partitioning for complex SoC designs; Cloud-DNN, which is an open-source framework that maps DNN (deep neural network) models to FPGAs in the cloud for inference acceleration; DNNBuilder, which represents the best FPGA implementation of DNNs for both edge and cloud computing use cases; SkyNet, which is a novel DNN model that won double championships in 2019's DAC System Design Contest for challenging image-based object-detection tasks developed through a DNN/Accelerator co-design method; and ScaleHLS, which is a next-generation new HLS compilation flow, on top of a multi-level compiler infrastructure called MLIR.

Dr. Chen was involved in two startup companies. He implemented his published algorithm on CPLD technology mapping when he was a software engineer in Aplus Design Technologies, Inc. in 2001, and the software was exclusively licensed by Altera and distributed to many customers of Altera worldwide. He is one of the inventors of the xPilot High-level Synthesis package developed at UCLA, which was licensed to AutoESL Design Technologies, Inc. Aplus was acquired by Magma in 2003, and AutoESL was acquired by Xilinx in 2011. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board for a new startup Inspirit IoT, Inc., headquartered in the Research Park at Champaign, IL.

Dr. Chen is an IEEE Fellow and the Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRETS). He is also the Director of AMD-Xilinx Center of Excellence at UIUC and the Co-lead for the Hybrid Cloud & AI thrust within the IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute.