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Tech

Technology on and off campus

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Martin Kinsley
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via Flickr
Jiayuan Fang's invention analyzes what's going on inside a circuit board.

There's a line that’s repeated throughout Binghamton University's literature on its research programs, which goes roughly: " Binghamton University technology shows up inside almost every computer."

That's really vague.

It turns out, all these stacks of pamphlets are talking about software developed by electrical engineer, Jiayuan Fang. His invention "can provide electromagnetic analysis of integrated circuits from chip to package to board, assessing overall power and signal performance."

Clearer now?

In essence, Fang's software looks at all the pieces of a computer chip to make sure they're all in sync and performing as well as possible.

Fang's software, called on by an impressive list of major tech companies demonstrates one important aspect of high-tech electronics research: it's hard to talk about.

But it's also the university's poster child for another case it’s trying to make about its research: that this complex, academic stuff can make the jump to the real world.

That's an important case to make right now. In the past three years, the Binghamton University has lost 30 percent of its state funding. However, in five years, funding for Binghamton University's burgeoning research program has grown by 37 percent, according to the Office of Research Advancement.

The SUNYs are getting state dollars and economic development dollars, but those numbers have never matched the well-funded California state university system. And in lean economic times in New York State, state money has become an even smaller pieceo f the pie.

Here comes that 37 percent. The SUNYs and other academic institutions are are having to take their case to other funders, convincing more federal agencies and companies to support and tap into research being done on campus. They’re seeking out companies that will get excited about research like Fang’s and buy in from day one.

University boosters have one more number to lean on. Since Fang launched his own company to market his software, his patents have  brought in more than $1 million to Binghamton University.