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Electrical & Computer Engineering

Apple NSI Program

Apple in Partnership with Morgan State University Mitchell School of Engineering
Morgan State University Apple NSI Program - Lab Photos

Spring 2022 105 honors class students building and  testing fundamental circuits

About NSI

Silicon and hardware technologies are responsible for the key components that bring intelligence to  smartphones, computers, tablets, smartwatches, and more. It's become increasingly difficult to find products that don’t have semiconductor technology in them. Everyday products, from wireless speakers to vacuums and coffee makers, contain sensors, processors, intelligent power management, wireless communication and more, that are all designed, architected, validated and tested by silicon engineers.

Morgan State University is one of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to receive an Apple Innovation Grant, designed to support Schools of Engineering as they develop their silicon and hardware technologies curriculum in partnership with Apple's experts. The three-year grant comes as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative and the company's New Silicon Initiative (NSI), designed to inspire and prepare students for careers in hardware engineering, computer architecture, and silicon chip design.

Morgan’s Innovation Grant from Apple is being used to provide funding and other support for lab space, guest lectures, scholarships, faculty training, curriculum support, and more. The main components of the program include:

  • Guest Lectures - Apple engineers will lecture in selected VLSI courses and provide project review throughout the semester.
  • New Tapeout Class - Students can participate in the NSI course sequence, culminating in a new Tapeout course for practical chip design and fabrication.
  • Student Mentorship - Experts are available for weekly Open-Mic sessions to discuss Apple technology, career advice, interview prep and many other topics.
  • Internships and Fellowships - Students can apply for summer research opportunities and fellowships beginning this fall.

Graduate Fellowships

Integrated circuit design and engineering is more critical than ever. With a slowing of Moore’s law and end of Dennard scaling, challenges abound to deliver ever increasing performance and power efficiency. Apple has long recognized these challenges, and develops world-class silicon for its products. Through this engagement, Morgan is excited to offer one-year graduate fellowships for students in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) or Computer Science (CS) beginning this fall. Fellowships include stipend, tuition and fees. This program recognizes a few top students with expressed interest in IC engineering, SoC design, Verification, Test, and Computer Architecture.

Applications can be submitted and finalists will be interviewed as part of the evaluation process. Check back later this summer for more information on the application deadlines.

  • Application open: mid-August, 2022
  • Application deadline: mid-September, 2022
  • Finalist interviews: October and November 2022
  • Decisions: December, 2021

NSI Curriculum

Morgan State University Electrical Engineering Lab CourseApple engineers are working with the Morgan State faculty to support a variety of VLSI courses. Subject matter experts from Apple will provide guest lectures for courses in Integrated Circuit Design, Computer Architecture and many other areas in the NSI curriculum. The course sequence starts with EEGR 105 Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering, where sophomores learn hands-on skills in circuit design. The key class in accomplishing the learning objectives of the NSI program is a new Tapeout Course in Integrated Circuit Design (EEGR 471). Tapeout is the final design process before a circuit is sent for manufacturing. Student teams will create the  specification, circuit design and verification for tapeout, and their designs will be sent for chip fabrication at the end of the semester. Apple engineers will also be available to mentor and provide feedback to the students about their designs throughout the semester.

Interested? Please contact Dr. Michael Spencer or your academic advisor to learn more about the new courses in VLSI.

Below is the recommended course sequence to prepare students for the Tapeout class and other career opportunities in silicon hardware technologies.

Apple, Morgan State Partnership | NSI Program