About Me       My Lab       My Research       My Teaching       Misc

I am an Assistant Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada. I direct the X-lab, which is a diverse team of people who build integrated circuits (IC) and systems that aim to improve the lives of millions, if not billions, of people. I am an affiliated scientist at the University Health Network, KITE Resesrch Institute. I am also affiliated with the Centre for Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Engineering (CARTE) and the Center for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA). I obtained my Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Jan Van der Spiegel at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Before joining the University of Toronto, I spent five years working at Qualcomm Inc., USA.

My research expertise includes analog and mixed-signal IC design, vertical system integration, and edge artificial intelligence (AI). My current research develops ICs and systems for advancing brain health, digital communication, and machine learning acceleration [see my publications]. My industrial experience includes contributions to a series of top-tier IC products including the world's first commercial 5G chipset. I have received the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society (SSCS) 2016 Predoctoral Achievement Award. My first author papers have received 3 Best Papers Awards on top conferences. I was also the recipient of the Student-Research Preview Award of the 2014 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC).

*** (New) I have 3-4 openings for graduate students joining in 2023/2024. *** If you are interested in my research or joining my team, please do not hesitate to contact me at xilinliu@ece.utoronto.ca. For prospective students and research fellows, please check our openings.

Links: [UofT Faculty Directory]  [UHN Scientist Directory]  [Google Scholar]  [ResearchGate]  [Email]

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Research Overview

My current research focuses on developing integrated circuits (ICs) and systems for advancing human health, wireless and wireline communication, and edge machine learning. I conduct interdisciplinary research on the following three themes:

Theme 1: Electronics for Neural Interfacing and Neuromodulation

Theme 2: High-performance Data Converters for Wireless and Wireline Communication

Theme 3: IC Design for Accelerating Edge Machine Learning

Currently, I conduct research at the University of Toronto in collaboration with multiple faculty members in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the University Health Network (UHN), industrial partners, and researchers around the world.

Learn more about my research projects and publications.


  • 2023-01: We have three papers accepted for publication at the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), Monterey, CA, US, 2023. Congratulations to the team!
  • 2023-01: Our paper entitled "Synergistic Distributed Thermal Regulation for On-CMOS High-Throughput Multi-Modal Amperometric DNA-Array Analysis" is accepted for publication on the IEEE Open Journal of Solid-State Circuits Society (OJ-SSCS). Congratulations to the team!
  • 2022-12: We have three papers accepted at the IEEE International EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), Baltimore, MD, US, 2023. Congratulations to the team!
  • 2022-11: Our paper entitled "A Review of Electrochemical Electrodes and Readout Interface Designs for Biosensors" just appears on the IEEE Open Journal of Solid-State Circuits Society (OJ-SSCS). Congratulations to the team!
  • 2022-10: Our paper entitled "Fascicle-Selective Bidirectional Peripheral Nerve Interface IC with 173dB FOM Noise-Shaping SAR ADCs and 1.38 pJ/bit Frequency-Multiplying Current-Ripple Radio Transmitter" has been accepted for ISSCC 2023. Congratulations to the team!
  • 2022-09: Welcome Yaqian Xu to join our team as a PhD student! Yaqian joined us from Tsinghua University, China. Yaqian will be working on advancing energy-efficient machine learning.
  • 2022-08: Congratulations to Zoe Chen, Hongliang Wang, and Catherine Yeh for winning the 3rd place at the 2022 BioCAS Machine-Learning Grand Challenge on Respiratory Sound Classification!
  • 2022-07: Congratulations to our team for receiving a CIHR project grant for developing bidirectional, selective, and implantable nerve interface for restoring function after spinal cord injury.
  • 2022-06: Prof. Xilin Liu gave an invited talk at Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), USA.
  • 2022-06: Congratulations to Purnoor Ghuman, Usama Mahboob, Tyama Lyall, Alia Aamir, whose team received the Certificates of Distinction for their capstone project "Edge Machine Learning for Wearable Devices in Healthcare"!
  • 2022-05: Prof. Xilin Liu is selected to receive the 2022 Winter Term Teaching Award in the ECE department at UofT.
  • 2022-05: Welcome Yu Huang to join our team as a PhD student! Yu joined us from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and will be co-supervised by Prof. Roman Genov. He will be working on energy-efficient wireless transceiver designs.
  • 2022-04: Congratulations to Hugh Ourong Lin who received the VinBrain AI research fellowship! Hugh will be working on developing edge machine learning algorithms for helping patients with Parkinson’s disease.
  • 2022-04: Congratulations to Andrew Abdel Malak who received the First Year Summer Research Fellowship from FASE! Andrew will be working on developing miniature neural stimulators for freely behaving animal experiments.
  • 2022-04: Our team is awarded the NSERC Discovery Grant for the next five years. This grant will support our work in developing the next generation neural interfacing devices.
  • 2022-04: Our team in collaboration with Prof. Jose Zarrifa received the EMHSeed grant from FASE UofT and KITE. This grant will be used to support the development of a low-cost, low-effort neuromodulation system.
  • 2022-03: Congratulations to Tian Yu who received the Data Science Institute (DSI) Summer Undergraduate Data Sciences (SUDS) research award! Tian will be working on developing transferring generative adversarial network (GAN) for the augmentation of patients’ data.

  • News Archives

    Selected Awards


    • Best Student Paper Award, received on the 50th IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), 2017
    •  Pre-doctoral Achievement Award of the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society (SSCS), received on the 63rd International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), 2016
    •  1st Place Best Paper Award received on the 11th IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2015
    •  ISSCC Student Research Preivew Award of the 61st IEEE Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), 2014
    •  Best Student Paper Award, Biomedical track the 47th IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), 2014
    •  No. 1 Most Popular Paper among the all articles (since 1952) in IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs (TCAS-II) listed by IEEE Xplore, Nov. 2017
    •  Student Travel Grant Award, IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society, 2013
    •  Travel Grant for Student, IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, 2012
    •  Ph.D. Fellowship Award, Department of ESE, University of Pennsylvania, 2011

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