Semiconductors & ICs

High-Temperature, Distributed Control Using Custom CMOS ASICs

Integrated circuits capable of operating at elevated temperatures are needed in applications including automotive control, turbine engine control, and downhole well logging systems. Four application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that provide sensing, actuation, and power conversion capabilities for distributed control in a high-temperature (over 200 °C) environment were developed. The four ASICs are combined with a digital signal processor (DSP) to create a distributed control node. Patented circuit design techniques facilitate fabrication in a conventional 0.5-micron bulk complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) foundry process.

Posted in: Briefs


Electron Beam Writer Enables Microfabrication

Integrated electronics could activate prosthetics. The new electron beam writer housed in the cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute, previously the UCSD division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is important for two major areas of research by Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical and computer engineering professor. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics. At the same time, he is working to develop neural probes that can extract electrical signals from brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. To achieve this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Biosensors, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Optics/Photonics, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Patient Monitoring


Low-Loss Dielectric Materials Improve PC Boards

Low-loss dielectric materials are available. The hydrocarbon- based, fiber-reinforced composite sheets can be applied to printed circuit boards and IC chip packaging. The material has a very low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor up to GHz range frequencies, and is advantageous for emerging high-frequency electronics applications as a printed circuit dielectric sheet.

Posted in: Techs for License, Techs for License


NASA Rocket Mission Will Predict Earth's Electrical Storms

A NASA-funded sounding rocket mission will launch from an atoll in the Pacific. The mission will help scientists better understand and predict the electrical storms in Earth's upper atmosphere. Storms interfere with satellite communication and global positioning signals.

Posted in: Homepage


Record Efficiency for Next-Generation Solar Cells

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have made a breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films. The researchers created a solar cell out of inexpensive materials that was certified at a world-record 7.0% efficiency.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power


Detecting Contaminants in Water

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the laboratory of Prashant V. Kamat, the John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame, could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants.

Posted in: News, News, Environmental Monitoring, Metals, Detectors, Sensors


Verilog-A Device Models for Cryogenic Temperature Operation of Bulk Silicon CMOS Devices

These models can be used in cryogenic electronics applications such as cooled imagers and sensors, medical electronics, and remote sensing satellites. Verilog-A based cryogenic bulk CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) compact models are built for state-ofthe- art silicon CMOS processes. These models accurately predict device operation at cryogenic temperatures down to 4 K. The models are compatible with commercial circuit simulators. The models extend the standard BSIM4 [Berkeley Short-channel IGFET (insulated-gate field-effect transistor ) Model] type compact models by re-parameterizing existing equations, as well as adding new equations that capture the physics of device operation at cryogenic temperatures. These models will allow circuit designers to create optimized, reliable, and robust circuits operating at cryogenic temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP