Ali Hajimiri

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Ali Hajimiri
Alma materSharif University of Technology (B.S.)
Stanford University (M.S., Ph.D.)
AwardsFeynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2019);[1]
Microwave Prize (2015);
Excellence in Teaching Award: Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (2004 and 2014);
Teaching and Mentorship Award: Graduate Student Council, California Institute of Technology (2005);
MIT Technology Review Magazine TR35 Top Young Innovators (2004);
IBM Faculty Partnership Award (2003);
NSF Career Award (2002);
Bronze Medal, 21st International Physics Olympiad (1990);
Gold Medal (absolute winner), National Physics Olympiad, Iran (1990).
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical Engineering
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorThomas H. Lee
Bruce A. Wooley

Ali Hajimiri is an academic, inventor, and entrepreneur in various fields of technology including electrical engineering and biomedical engineering. He is currently the Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has also worked for Bell Laboratories, Philips Semiconductors, and Sun Microsystems. As a part of his Ph.D. thesis, he developed a time-varying phase noise model for electrical oscillators,[2] also known as the Hajimiri phase noise model.[3] In 2002, he cofounded Axiom Microdevices Inc. together with his former students Ichiro Aoki and Scott Kee based on their invention of the Distributed Active Transformer (DAT), which made it possible to integrate RF CMOS power amplifiers suitable for cellular phones in CMOS technology. Axiom shipped hundreds of millions of units before it was acquired by Skyworks Solutions in 2009.

He and his students also demonstrated the world's first radar-on-a-chip in silicon technology in 2004,[4] showing a 24-GHz 8-element phased array receiver[5] and a 4-element phased array transmitter in CMOS.[6] These were followed by a 77-GHz phased array transceiver (transmitter and receiver) with on chip antennas that established the highest level of integration in mm-wave frequency applications and was a complete radar-on-a-chip.[7][8] They also developed a fully scalable phased array architecture in 2008, making it possible to realize very-large-scale phased arrays.[9]

He and his team are also responsible for the development of an all-silicon THz imager system, where an integrated CMOS microchip was used in conjunction with a second silicon microchip to form an active THz imaging system, capable of seeing through opaque objects. They demonstrated various phased array transmitters around 0.3THz with beam steering using the distributed active radiator (DAR) architecture in 2011.[10] Various applications of this system appear in security, communications, medical diagnostics, and the human-machine interface.[11][12][13]

In 2013, he and some of his team members demonstrated a complete self-healing power amplifier, which through an integrated self-healing strategy, could recover from various kinds of degradation and damage including aging, local failure, and intentional laser blasts.[14][15][16][17]

Between 2014 and 2018, his lab demonstrated several major advances in imaging, projection, and sensing technology on silicon photonic platforms.[18][19][20] In 2014, they showed the first silicon nanophotonic optical phased array transmitter capable of dynamic and real-time image projection, therefore serving as a lensless projector.[21][22] In 2015, he and his group constructed a 3D coherent camera via a silicon nanophotonic coherent imager (NCI) that performed direct 3D imaging at meter range with a 15-micron depth resolution.[23][24] In 2016, they devised and implemented a one-dimensional (1D) integrated optical phased array receiver which could image a barcode directly from the surface of a chip,[25] followed in 2017 by an integrated two-dimensional (2D) optical phased array receiver capable of imaging simple 2D patterns without a lens using a very thin optical synthetic aperture of a few microns, thereby demonstrating a lensless flat camera for the first time.[26][27] In 2018, they demonstrated the world's first all-integrated optical gyroscope, whose principle of operation is based on the Sagnac effect.[28][29][30][31][32]

He and his team have also developed systems and technologies for wireless power transfer at a distance. In 2017, he co-founded GuRu Wireless (Formerly Auspion Inc.), which commercializes wireless power transfer technology for consumers [33][34]

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).[35] He was selected to the world's top 35 innovators under 35 (TR35) at age 32.[36] He is an IEEE Fellow and has been the recipient of numerous other awards.[37] He was recognized as one of the top 10 authors in the 60-year history of ISSCC in 2013. He holds more than 100 granted U.S. patents.[38] He was one of 45 scientists invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in 2016.[39] As of 2019, roughly half of his graduated PhD students have gone on to become university faculty members.[40]

Hajimiri has also won a number of prizes as an educator, such as the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Caltech's most prestigious teaching award,[1] as well as awards from Caltech's undergraduate and graduate student councils.[41] His online lectures on YouTube are a popular source of continued education worldwide.[42]


  • The Design of Low Noise Oscillators, co-authored with Thomas H. Lee, Springer, 1999, ISBN 0-7923-8455-5


  1. ^ a b "Ali Hajimiri Awarded 2019 Feynman Teaching Prize". Caltech. February 19, 2019.
  2. ^ A General Theory of Phase Noise in Electrical Oscillators (PDF), IEEE, February 1998
  3. ^ The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits, First Edition. Cambridge University Press. 1998.
  4. ^ "Caltech Engineers Design a Revolutionary Radar Chip". Caltech Media Relations. May 4, 2004. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  5. ^ A Fully Integrated 24GHz 8-Path Phased-Array Receiver in Silicon (PDF), IEEE, February 2004, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-09
  6. ^ A 24GHz Phased-Array Transmitter in 0.18μm CMOS (PDF), IEEE, February 2005, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-09
  7. ^ A 77GHz Phased-Array Transmitter with Local LO-Path Phase-Shifting in Silicon (PDF), IEEE, February 2006, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-09
  8. ^ A 77GHz 4-Element Phased Array Receiver with On-Chip Dipole Antennas in Silicon (PDF), IEEE, February 2006, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-10
  9. ^ A Scalable 6-to-18 GHz Concurrent Dual-Band Quad-Beam Phased-Array Receiver in CMOS (PDF), IEEE, December 2008, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-06
  10. ^ A 0.28THz 4×4 Power-Generation and Beam-Steering Array (PDF), IEEE, February 2012, archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-06
  11. ^ "Ali Hajimiri's Chip May Allow Smartphones to See Through Objects". Bloomberg. February 7, 2013.
  12. ^ "Give your smartphone Superman vision". Fox News. December 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "A New Tool for Secret Agents—And the Rest of Us". Caltech. December 9, 2012.
  14. ^ "How Self-Healing Microchips Recover". Scientific American. March 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Chip Heals Self After Blast From Frickin' Laser". Wired. March 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "Microchip Adapts to Severe Damage". MIT Technology Review. March 25, 2013.
  17. ^ "Self-healing chips survive repeated LASER BLASTS". The Register. March 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Laser-Bending Chip Could Put A Projector in Your Pocket". NBC News. March 11, 2014.
  19. ^ "Laser Chip Could Turn Smartphones Into Handheld 3D Scanners". Popular Science. April 6, 2015.
  20. ^ "Caltech's 'lensless camera' could make our phones truly flat". Engadget. June 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "Bending the Light with a Tiny Chip". Caltech. March 10, 2014.
  22. ^ Electronic Two-Dimensional Beam Steering for Integrated Optical Phased Arrays (PDF), OSA, March 2014
  23. ^ "New Camera Chip Provides Superfine 3-D Resolution". Caltech. April 3, 2015.
  24. ^ Nanophotonic coherent imager (PDF), OSA, February 19, 2015
  25. ^ A One-Dimensional Heterodyne Lens-Free OPA Camera (PDF), OSA, June 2016
  26. ^ "Ultra-Thin Camera Creates Images Without Lenses". Caltech. June 21, 2017.
  27. ^ An 8x8 Heterodyne Lens-less OPA Camera (PDF), OSA, May 2017
  28. ^ Nanophotonic optical gyroscope with reciprocal sensitivity enhancement, Nature Research, October 8, 2018
  29. ^ "World's littlest light-sensing gyroscope fits on a grain of rice". Nature Research. October 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "Spinning the Light: The World's Smallest Optical Gyroscope". Caltech. October 25, 2018.
  31. ^ "Miniaturized Optical Gyroscope Reduces Thermal Fluctuations". Photonics Spectra. January 2019.
  32. ^ "Nanophotonic optical gyroscope is 500 times smaller than current devices". Laser Focus World. October 27, 2018.
  33. ^ "GuRu Wireless Inc". GuRu Inc. November 9, 2019.
  34. ^ "Wireless power startup GuRu (Auspion) raises $15M to deliver electric power through the air and wirelessly power your devices". Tech Startups. November 11, 2019.
  35. ^ "National Academy of Inventors". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  36. ^ "TR35: Ali Hajimiri, 32". MIT Technology Review.
  37. ^ "Ali Hajimiri's Biography, Caltech".
  38. ^ "US Patent Office".
  39. ^ "Scientists at the World Economic Forum 2016".
  40. ^ "Ali Hajimiri's Academic Genealogy, Caltech".
  41. ^ "ASCIT Teaching Awards".
  42. ^ "Ali Hajimiri's Online Lectures". YouTube.

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