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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Intelligent, Distributed, Embedded Applications and Systems (IDEAS) Center addresses a broad range of industry-relevant, application-driven projects. Its work involves co-designing smart hardware and software that sense, collect, compute, communicate and control the world around us. Its scope includes smart wearables, mobile devices, edge and cloud computing, and embedded systems targeting extreme energy efficiencies and high performance.


  • Arizona State University
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • University of Southern California
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Sarma Vrudhula
Center Director
+1 480 727 4152

Viktor Prasanna
Site Director, University of Southern California
+1 213 740 4483

Spyros Tragoudas
Site Director, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
+1 618 453 7027

Research Focus

The IDEAS Center addresses a broad range of application-driven projects to advance the technologies of wearables, mobile devices, edge and cloud computing, and embedded systems targeting energy efficiency and performance. IDEAS products are in the form of fundamental new knowledge and software and hardware prototypes.

Applications: IDEAS focuses on Distributed Intelligent Applications at the edge. These are applications that require executing intelligent decision-making algorithms in a distributed manner on edge devices, by learning parameterized models from massive amounts of data. The underlying paradigm of these applications is commonly referred to as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and it is expected to serve as the basic framework for automation of control and decision-making tasks of practically every major industry. IDEAS undertakes projects addressing the efficient implementation of Distributed Intelligent Applications such as smart energy systems, smart infrastructure, autonomous driving, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), sensing and monitoring, IoT reliability and robustness, and anomaly detection. Other application domains are also explored if there is an interest from an industrial partner.

  • Robotics for warehouse, manufacturing, industrial, and agricultural automation
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Resource management in 5G/6G wireless networks
  • Smart energy grid

Embedded Systems: IDEAS also addresses a system of interconnected embedded heterogeneous devices deployed on the edge. These devices exhibit immense heterogeneity across several dimensions, such as power, compute capabilities, and memory and interconnect technologies. The center focuses on optimizations targeting embedded systems which are hierarchical, multi-layered systems of emerging compute nodes that include heterogeneous system-on-chip (SoC) and reconfigurable devices.

  • Custom hardware accelerators for AI/ML in CMOS+X application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)
  • Compute-in-memory with heterogeneous processor and memory technologies
  • Heterogeneous platforms: CPU + GPU + FPGAs


Member Organizations

IUCRC affiliated member organizations are displayed as submitted by the Center. Non-federal organizations are not selected, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the National Science Foundation.