Electronics & Software

Semiconductors & ICs

Review the latest advances and technical briefs in Semiconductor and Integrated Circuit Systems (ICS) technologies essential to Design Engineers. Find new products and applications in semiconductors, electronics, electronic components, electronic circuits, integrated circuits, and ICS.

News: Semiconductors & ICs
New Technique Monitors Semiconductor Surface as it is Etched

University of Illinois researchers have a new low-cost method to carve delicate features onto semiconductor wafers using light – and watch as it happens. The team’s new technique can monitor a semiconductor’s surface as it is etched, in real time, with nanometer resolution. It...

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...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
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...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Thermally Resilient, Broadband Optical Absorber From UV to IR Derived From Carbon Nanostructures

Optical absorber coatings have been developed from carbon-based paints, metal blacks, or glassy carbon. However, such materials are not truly black and have poor absorption characteristics at longer wavelengths. The blackness of such coatings is...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Verilog-A Device Models for Cryogenic Temperature Operation of Bulk Silicon CMOS Devices

Verilog-A based cryogenic bulk CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) compact models are built for state-of-the-art silicon CMOS processes. These models accurately predict device operation at cryogenic temperatures down to 4 K. The models are...

Making use of the force generated by magnetic repulsion, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new technique for measuring the adhesion strength between thin films of...

An international team of researchers has developed a process that improves the efficiency of generating electric power using molecular structures extracted from plants. The system taps into photosynthetic processes...

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
Battery-Less Chemical Detector Utilizes Semiconductor Nanowires

Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a nanosensor that relies on semiconductor nanowires rather than traditional batteries as a power source. The device overcomes the power requirement of traditional sensors and is simple, highly sensitive, and can detect various molecules...

A Northwestern University research team has developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology. The researchers used...

Videos: Nanotechnology
Computers that Mimic the Brain

INSIDER reader Kenneth Polcak submitted a "Question of the Week" to his fellow design engineer pros:

IBM has recently developed prototypes of energy-efficient computer chips that emulate the synapses, neurons, and learning functions of the human brain. IBM's Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
MOSFET Switching Circuit Protects Shape Memory Alloy Actuators

A small-footprint, full surface-mount-component printed circuit board employs MOSFET (metal-oxide-semi-conductor field-effect transistor) power switches to switch high currents from any input power supply from 3 to 30 V.

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Optimized FPGA Implementation of Multi-Rate FIR Filters Through Thread Decomposition

Multi-rate finite impulse response (MRFIR) filters are among the essential signal-processing components in space-borne instruments where finite impulse response filters are often used to minimize nonlinear group delay and finite-precision effects. Cascaded...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Circuit for Communication Over Power Lines

Many distributed systems share common sensors and instruments along with a common power line supplying current to the system. A communication technique and circuit has been developed that allows for the simple inclusion of an instrument, sensor, or actuator node within any system containing a common...

A proposed integrated circuit would translate (1) a pair of input signals having a low differential potential and a possibly high common-mode potential into (2) a pair of output signals...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Small Microprocessor for ASIC or FPGA Implementation

A small microprocessor, suitable for use in applications in which high reliability is required, was designed to be implemented in either an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The design is based on commercial microprocessor architecture,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Source-Coupled, N-Channel, JFET-Based Digital Logic Gate Structure Using Resistive Level Shifters

A circuit topography is used to create usable, digital logic gates using N (negatively doped) channel junction field effect transistors (JFETs), load resistors, level shifting resistors, and supply rails whose values are based on the DC parametric...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Monitoring Digital Closed-Loop Feedback Systems

A technique of monitoring digital closed-loop feedback systems has been conceived. The basic idea is to obtain information on the performances of closed-loop feedback circuits in such systems to aid in the determination of the functionality and integrity of the circuits and of performance...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Semiconductor Laser Technology Chosen for Space LIDAR
Single-frequency semiconductor laser
Redfern Integrated Optics (RIO)
Santa Clara, CA
408-970-3500
www.rio-inc.com

NASA has chosen Redfern Integrated Optics to...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Interface Supports Multiple Broadcast Transceivers for Flight Applications

A wireless avionics interface provides a mechanism for managing multiple broadcast transceivers. This interface isolates the control logic required to support multiple transceivers so that the flight application does not have to manage wireless transceivers. All of the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
SAD5 Stereo Correlation Line-Striping in an FPGA

High precision SAD5 stereo computations can be performed in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) at much higher speeds than possible in a conventional CPU (central processing unit), but this uses large amounts of FPGA resources that scale with image size. Of the two key resources in an FPGA,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Miniature Sapphire Acoustic Resonator — MSAR

A room temperature sapphire acoustics resonator incorporated into an oscillator represents a possible opportunity to improve on quartz ultrastable oscillator (USO) performance, which has been a staple for NASA missions since the inception of spaceflight. Where quartz technology is very mature and...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Process-Hardened, Multi-Analyte Sensor for Characterizing Rocket Plume Constituents

A multi-analyte sensor was developed that enables simultaneous detection of rocket engine combustion-product molecules in a launch-vehicle ground test stand. The sensor was developed using a pin-printing method by incorporating multiple sensor elements on a...

Articles: Semiconductors & ICs
Making Multicore Work With Minimal Pain Points

All major microprocessor vendors are introducing multicore architectures to deliver the latest installment of performance improvements and cost savings as required to remain competitive in the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Compact, Reliable EEPROM Controller

A compact, reliable controller for an electrically erasable, programmable readonly memory (EEPROM) has been developed specifically for a space-flight application. The design may be adaptable to other applications in which there are requirements for reliability in general and, in particular, for prevention of...

The design, simulation, and characterization of a novel Ka-band (32.05±0.25 GHz) rectangular waveguide two-way branch-line hybrid unequal power combiner (with port impedances...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Quad-Chip Double-Balanced Frequency Tripler

Solid-state frequency multipliers are used to produce tunable broadband sources at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The maximum power produced by a single chip is limited by the electrical breakdown of the semiconductor and by the thermal management properties of the chip. The solution is to...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Radiation-Hardened Solid-State Drive

A method is provided for a radiationhardened (rad-hard) solid-state drive for space mission memory applications by combining rad-hard and commercial offthe- shelf (COTS) non-volatile memories (NVMs) into a hybrid architecture. The architecture is controlled by a rad-hard ASIC (application specific integrated...

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Radar Measurements: Triggering, Analysis, and Generation

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Designing with Silicone for Space

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Developing Standards for Odor Sensors and Data

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