• Some example SPI2 design problems are mobile transportation systems (aircraft, ships, automotive), medical devices/implantables, spacecraft, and 3D microelectronics.
  • Cutaway diagram of the underskin of an aircraft.

Three-Dimensional Spatial Packaging of Interconnected Systems with Physical Interactions (3D SPI2)

The UIUC SPI2 Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) is an effort that is supported by the Grainger College of Engineering through a recent SRI award. This website provides a consolidated resource to obtain information about the broad set of efforts intended to transform how SPI2 engineering system design is performed in practice, which has the potential to impact a wide range of industries. The multi-institutional SPI2 research team is seeking to cultivate an ecosystem of SPI2 research and practice based on recent discoveries made during the course of research projects supported by the NSF POETS ERC.

Spatial packaging of interconnected components with coupled physical interactions (thermal, hydraulic, electromagnetic, etc.) or SPI2 (pronounced “spy-two”), plays a vital role in the functionality, operation, energy usage, and life cycle of practically all engineered systems, from chips to ships to aircraft. SPI2 problems involve tight coupling between 3D packing, interconnect routing, and physics evaluation. These highly-nonlinear spatial packaging problems, governed by coupled physical phenomena transferring energy through intricate and highly complex geometric interconnects, have largely resisted design automation, and can quickly exceed human cognitive abilities at even moderate complexity levels. The current state-of-the-art in defining an arrangement of these functionally heterogeneous artifacts still largely relies on human intuition and manual spatial placement, which limits system sophistication and can result in biased human errors and delayed delivery of critical engineering systems. A recent review article titled “Toward Holistic Design of Spatial Packaging of Interconnected Systems with Physical Interactions (SPI2)” led by Dr. Satya Peddada on this topic has been featured in the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design Companion website.  Interested researchers are recommended to go through this article to get introduced to this new research topic, understand the gaps and challenges, the research vision, and societal impact it can have on several engineering applications such as electrified vehicles, aircraft, microelectronics, and biomedical devices.

The core long-term objectives of this strategic research initiative, including anticipated external support, are:

  1. To establish a multidisciplinary Illinois center for SPI2,
  2. To build the required theoretical foundation for new classes of SPI2 design automation methods, and
  3. Cultivate a highly interactive SPI2 research ecosystem, including a network across application and research domains that links fundamental advancements through to industry adoption of SPI2 design methods.

Please visit the FAQs, Research Topics, and Publications pages to learn more about our work. If you have any questions or are considering being part of this SPI2 research ecosystem, please contact Prof. James Allison.