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The ability to perform DNA analysis, clinical diagnostics, and biomolecule detection and manipulation using miniaturized devices has many practical applications. Although designing and testing such devices is challenging, researchers and engineers are beginning to build labs on chips (LoCs) with exciting functionality. LoC applications include synthesizing new materials, studying complex cellular processes, and accelerating clinical diagnostics and the biomedical-discovery process. This special issue on biochips more closely examines these devices, their functionality and applications, and the design and test technology challenges involved in developing them. Guest editors Krishnendu Chakrabarty and Roland Thewes have done an excellent job in selecting six articles for this special theme. I thank Krish and Roland and all the authors who contributed to this unique special issue. I trust you will enjoy reading it.
The roundtable in this issue discusses design and CAD challenges for leading-edge multimedia designs. Our roundtables editor, Bill Joyner, organized this interesting roundtable at the 2006 Design Automation Conference, and Andrew Kahng moderated it. The roundtable participants cover a wide range of relevant aspects of this timely topic, including the power, speed, memory, and logic attributes of chips and embedded software for multimedia, game, and entertainment platforms, as well as the technology behind those platforms. This issue's "Panel Summaries" column summarizes the 2006 International Test Conference panels, addressing today's hot topics in the test and DFT domains.
There are several updates on the editorial side of IEEE Design & Test. Beginning with this issue, Michael Hsiao of Virginia Tech joins our Editorial Board, focusing on design validation and debugging, an area of increasing interest to our readers. In addition, Thomas Centrella, who was the lead editor on D&T several years ago, is now the Managing Editor, and Robin Baldwin is the new Group Managing Editor. With their experience, I'm confident that D&T will continue progressing smoothly. But at the same time, I feel sad that we must say farewell to Janet Wilson, who is leaving the D&T editorial family to concentrate on several new IEEE Computer Society projects. Janet has dedicated tremendous effort and time to D&T since becoming Group Managing Editor in 2001, in addition to almost three years of service as an editor on D&T prior to then. She has been instrumental in helping to make D&T what it is today. We will all miss her kindness, professionalism, and commitment to perfection. On your behalf, I thank Janet for her contributions to IEEE Design & Test.
Our D&T community is deeply saddened that Richard Newton passed away from pancreatic cancer on 2 January 2007. The opening piece of this issue is a eulogy commemorating his life, written by long-time friend and colleague Aart de Geus. Richard was a visionary, an incredibly strong leader, and an exceptional researcher. His contributions to the electronic industry were truly seminal and will continue to bear fruit for many years to come.
Editor in Chief
IEEE Design & Test