Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Phillip Stanley-Marbell

Department of Engineering

Dr Phillip Stanley-Marbell


University Lecturer in the Internet of Things

Academic Division: Electrical Engineering

Telephone: +44 1223 7 62426


Personal website


Research interests

My research exploits the structure of signals in the physical world and the flexibility of human perception to make computation more efficient.

Summary of Recent Research: My research focuses on designing hardware architectures, algorithms, and programming language constructs that use an understanding of the physical world and the flexibility of sensing systems to improve the efficiency of computing systems that interact with nature. My research results range from fundamental theory, to algorithms, programming languages, and compiler tools. I frequently build printed circuit board and FPGA prototypes to validate concepts.

Recent Research Publications

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, A. Alaghi, M. Carbin, E. Darulova, L. Dolecek, A. Gerstlauer, G. Gillani, D. Jevdjic, T. Moreau, M. Cacciotti, A. Daglis, N. Enright Jerger, B. Falsafi, A. Misailovic, A. Sampson, and D. Zufferey, "Exploiting Errors for Efficiency: A Survey from Circuits to Algorithms". ArXiv:1809.05859, September 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard, “Warp: Efficient Multi-Modal Sensing with Adaptive Approximation". Accepted for publication, IEEE Micro Journal, 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard, “Perceived Color Approximation Transforms for Programs that Draw". In IEEE Micro Journal, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 20-29, July/August 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and P. Hurley. "Probabilistic Value-Deviation-Bounded Integer Codes for Approximate Communication". ArXiv:1804.02317, April 2018.

  • J. Cambronero, P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. "Incremental Color Quantization for Color-Vision-Deficient Observers Using Mobile Gaming Data". ArXiv:1803.08420, March 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. "Error-Efficient Computing Systems". In Foundations and Trends in Electronic Design Automation: Vol. 11: No. 4, pp 362-461, December 2017.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, P. A. Francese, and M. Rinard. "Encoder Logic for Reducing Serial I/O Power in Sensors and Sensor Hubs", In 28th Annual IEEE Symposium on High-Performance Chips (Hot Chips'16),  August 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. "Reducing Serial I/O Power in Error-Tolerant Applications by Efficient Lossy Encoding", In 53rd Annual ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC'16), June 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, V. Estellers, and M. Rinard "Crayon: Saving Power through Shape and Color Approximation on Next-Generation Displays", In 11th Annual European Conference on Computer Systems,  (EuroSys'16), April 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell. "How Device Properties Influence Energy-Delay Metrics and the Energy-Efficiency of Parallel Computations". In USENIX/ACM HotPower'15, October 2015.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. “Efficiency Limits for Value-Deviation-Bounded Approximate Communication”, In IEEE Embedded Systems Letters Journal,  7(4), 109-112, 2015.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. “Lax: Driver Interfaces for Approximate Sensor Device Access”, In USENIX HotOS’15, 2015.

Recent Patent Grants / Patent Applications

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard, “Method and Apparatus for Reducing Sensor Power Dissipation". US Patent Application Publication 15/596,568, April 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell and M. Rinard. "System, Method, and Apparatus for Reducing Power Dissipation of Sensor Data on Bit-Serial Communication Interfaces". US Patent Application Publication 15/612,485, February 2018.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, G. Kapoor, and U. Vaishampayan. "Dynamic adjustment of mobile device based on voter feedback". US Patent 9,813,990, granted November 7, 2017.

  • C. de la Cropte de Chanterac, P. Stanley-Marbell, K.  Venkatraman, and G. Kapoor (Apple, Inc.). "Smart Advice To Charge Notification". US Patent Publication Number 20160357654/A1, December 8, 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, G. Kapoor, and U. Vaishampayan (Apple, Inc.). "Dynamic Adjustment of Mobile Device Based on Adaptive Prediction of System Events". US Patent Number 9,465,679, granted October 11, 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, G. Kapoor, and U. Vaishampayan (Apple, Inc.). "Dynamic Adjustment of Mobile Device Based on System Events". US Patent Number 9,462,965, granted October 11, 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, G. Kapoor, and U. Vaishampayan (Apple, Inc.). "Dynamic Adjustment of Mobile Device Based on Thermal Events". US Patent Number 9,432,839, granted August 30, 2016.

  • J. Wood, K. Vyas, A. Vyrros, G. Kapoor, P. Stanley-Marbell et al. (Apple, Inc.).  "Push notification initiated background updates". US Patent  Number 9,392,393, granted July 12, 2016.

  • P. Stanley-Marbell, G. Kapoor, K.-M. Wan, and J. Andrews  (Apple, Inc.). "Dynamic adjustment of mobile device based on user activity". US Patent  Number 9,256,484, granted February 9, 2016.

Research projects

  • Programmable In-Powder Sensors (PIPS) for Real Time Metrology and Data Analysis in Powder Processes​
    Funder: EPSRC (via MAPP Hub). Investigators: P. Stanley-Marbell (PI).
  • Continuous In Situ Microstructure and Composition Analysis within 3D-Printed Structures Using In-Chamber Sensors
    Funder: EPSRC (via Connected Everything Network Plus). Investigators: P. Stanley-Marbell (PI). Collaborators: Imperial College London (Co-I), Sheffield-Hallam University (Co-I). April 2018 to November 2018.
  • Energy, Information-Leakage, and Noise Characterization for Sensor Fingerprinting and Sensor Privacy Guards
    Funder: Royal Society Grant RG170136. Investigators: P. Stanley-Marbell (PI). November 2017 to October 2018. 
  • New Industrial Systems: Optimising Me Manufacturing Systems
    Funder: EPSRC EP/R022534/1. Investigators: P. Stanley-Marbell (Co-I). Collaborators: Kent (PI), Bath (Co-I), UWE (Co-I), Imperial College London (Co-I), University College London (Co-I). February 2018 to July 2020.
  • Graphical Programming with Physical Laws for Engineering Students (Grapples)
    Funder: Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TLIF) award. Investigators: P. Stanley-Marbell (PI). February 2017 to June 2018.

Teaching activity

  • Module lecturer, CUED 4B25 (Embedded Systems for the Internet of Things)
  • Course instructor, MIT 6.S194/IAP (Error-Efficient Computing Systems) in IAP 2017.
  • Workshop instructor,  MIT 6.S977 (Technical Communication Skills for Graduate Students), spring 2016.
  • Course instructor, MIT 6.S194/IAP (Error-Efficient Computing Systems) in IAP 2016.
  • Advisor, MIT EECS Communication Laboratory (Communication Skills for Engineers), 2015 to 2017.
  • MIT Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program, spring 2015.

Research opportunities

  • RISC-V Processor Customized for Machine Learning Workloads on iCE40 Miniature Low-Power FPGA (available starting in 2018)
  • Virtual Machine / Interpreter for C-like Language on Microcontrollers with Less Than 2k RAM (available starting in 2018)
  • Integrating a Miniature Spectrometer into a 3D printer (available starting in 2018)
  • Designing an Integer ALU in Verilog for the iCE40 Miniature Low-Power FPGA (available starting in 2018)
  • Designing a Floating-Point ALU in Verilog for the iCE40 Miniature Low-Power FPGA (available starting in 2018)
  • Sensor fingerprinting (ongoing, 2018)
  • Compiler pass for Newton: A Language for Describing Physics to generate SMT-2 expressions for IR validation (ongoing, 2018)
  • Sensor access schedulers (ongoing, 2018)
  • Deriving physically-inspired sensor signal invariants (ongoing, 2018)

Other positions

  • Program committee, USENIX/ACM European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), 2019.
  • Program committee, International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), 2019.
  • Program committee, International Conference on Formal Methods and Models for System Design (MEMOCODE), 2018.
  • Program committee, International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2018.
  • Program committee, International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), 2018.
  • Program committee, USENIX/ACM European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), 2018.
  • Co-organizer, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) International Exploratory Workshop on Theory and Practice of Error-Efficient Computing, 2017.
  • Sponsorships Chair, USENIX/ACM Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOSXVI), 2017.
  • Posters Chair, USENIX/ACM European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), 2017.
  • Program Committee, IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2017.
  • Program Committee, USENIX/ACM European Conference on Computing Systems (EuroSys), 2018.


Prior to joining Cambridge in 2017, I was with MIT in Cambridge Massachusetts  (2014–2017). I completed my Ph.D. at CMU in 2007 in the lovely city of Pittsburgh. From 2008–2012 I was a permanent research staff member (RSM) at IBM Research in Zürich, and at Apple in Cupertino California from 2012–2014. Before graduate school, I spent several summers as an intern at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. At Bell Labs, I first spent two summers (1995, 1996) in the Microelectronics division with a group that designed ASICs for telephony applications. I then spent an extended co-op (1999) in the Lucent Bell Labs Data Networking division, in a project spun out of the UNIX group, doing work with the Inferno Operating System.

Department role and responsibilities

  • Designed and introduced new 4th-year undergraduate course, 4B25 Embedded Systems (2017/2018)
  • Designing new 3rd-year undergraduate project-based course on Computer Architecture with RISC-V, Verilog, and the iCE40 FPGA (2018/2019)