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Flexible Microstrip Circuits for Superconducting Electronics

Improved wiring geometry should further reduce the size of the wiring while also reducing the crosstalk among wire pairs. Flexible circuits with superconducting wiring atop polyimide thin films are being studied to connect large numbers of wires between stages in cryogenic apparatus with low heat load. The feasibility of a full microstrip process, consisting of two layers of superconducting material separated by a thin dielectric layer on 5 mil (≈0.13 mm) Kapton sheets, where manageable residual stress remains in the polyimide film after processing, has been demonstrated. The goal is a 2-mil (≈0.051-mm) process using spin-on polyimide to take advantage of the smoother polyimide surface for achieving high-quality metal films. Integration of microstrip wiring with this polyimide film may require high-temperature bakes to relax the stress in the polyimide film between metallization steps.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, TSP

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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: Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs

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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: Bio-Medical, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Biosensors, Optics/Photonics, Electronics & Computers, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, MDB

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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, Semiconductors & ICs

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Estimating the Effort and Cost of a DO-254 Program

This paper examines the factors that influence the cost of a DO-254 program. It is recommended for program and project managers looking to cost or bid new DO-254 programs.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, White Papers

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Increasing Automotive Safety Through Embedded Radar Technologies

In response to a need for active and predictive safety systems within the automotive sector, semiconductor suppliers are developing innovative radar-based embedded solutions. These next-generation technologies present unique capabilities for designers of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), enabling life-saving safety features as well as compliance with the latest regulatory standards.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, White Papers

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Optimum Fastener Selection for Internal Pumping in Vacuum Systems

The use of fasteners inside of vacuum chambers, while necessary for obvious reasons, can present a number of problems resulting from trapped volumes. Trapped volumes of gas, typically air trapped during assembly, within vacuum chambers are not easily found and can be difficult to pump out, often appearing later as “virtual leaks”. Fasteners also, due to their helix design, have a large surface area relative to their size, creating an un-exposed water-retaining surface. Fortunately there are optimal fastener configurations that address these issues.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, White Papers

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