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Most-Read Article in November JSSC by TxACE Prof Y. Chiu

Image: IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits


This paper presents a sub-radix-2 redundant architecture to improve the performance of switched-capacitor successive-approximation-register (SAR) analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). The redundancy not only guarantees digitally correctable static nonlinearities of the converter, it also offers means to combat dynamic errors in the conversion process, and thus, accelerating the speed of the SAR architecture. A perturbation-based digital calibration technique is also described that closely couples with the architecture choice to accomplish simultaneous identification of multiple capacitor mismatch errors of the ADC, enabling the downsizing of all sampling capacitors to save power and silicon area. A 12-bit prototype measured a Nyquist 70.1-dB signal-to-noise-plus-distortion ratio (SNDR) and a Nyquist 90.3-dB spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) at 22.5 MS/s, while dissipating 3.0-mW power from a 1.2-V supply and occupying 0.06-mm2 silicon area in a 0.13-μm CMOS process. The figure of merit (FoM) of this ADC is 51.3 fJ/step measured at 22.5 MS/s and 36.7 fJ/step at 45 MS/s.

TI collaborates with University of Texas at Dallas to improve wafer production efficiency – applying big data approaches to test data

The two worked together several times a year on exchanging research and results before Makris joined the University of Texas at Dallas faculty as an associate professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. That’s when they began to collaborate more frequently. “As we were demonstrating the new methods we were creating, we had to explore,” Makris says.

The basic premise of the research is that sampled test data from a few die locations on a wafer could determine whether all of the sites on the wafer are good or bad. This would make it possible to test far fewer die locations yet make an educated and accurate guess on the rest of the batch — dramatically reducing wafer test time. […]

Read the full article at the Texas Instruments Think.Innovate Blog.

New TxACE Logo

TxACE has a new logo thanks to the creative talents of Sankalp Modi.

A PhD student in electrical engineering, Modi won the contest held to design a TxACE logo.

Of the dozens of submissions from faculty, students and staff, Modi’s stood out from the rest in the eyes of the four-judge panel assembled to sort through the submissions.

Containing visual references to both digital and analog technology, the logo is also simple and distinctive enough to be quickly recognizable, the judges decided.

Modi received a $50 gift certificate for his efforts.

Associate Director Named

Dr. Eric Vogel has been named associate director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence, or TxACE.

An associate professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas, Vogel will help administer TxACE’s quickly expanding activities.

TxACE was created in 2008, funded by $16 million in support from Semiconductor Research Corp.(SRC), the state of Texas through its Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Texas Instruments, the UT System and UT Dallas. 

Based at UT Dallas, TxACE is dedicated to helping shape the landscape for research in analog electronics, a fundamental technology that plays a key enabling role in today’s ubiquitous digital electronics.

TxACE is particularly focused on developing circuits and techniques that improve public safety and security, enhance medical care and help the U.S. become more energy-independent. In its first year it has awarded more than $5 million in research funding.

Vogel leads a wide range of research programs concerning nanoelectronic materials and devices. He heads the University’s portion of the Southwest Academy for Nanoelectronics (SWAN), funded by SRC through The University of Texas at Austin, which involves six UT Dallas faculty. The program focuses on the materials science, processes, characterization techniques and associated understanding necessary to implement graphene-based devices.

SWAN also funds two of Vogel’s graduate students in the area of nanoscale devices for neuromorphic computing, an area that uses the human brain as a model for future low-power computation.

He is also part of a research program funded by numerous agencies involving the use of compound semiconductors for future transistors, and he is involved in several programs funded by TI, one related to nanoscale silicon for biosensors and another related to metal gate electrodes.

Before joining UT Dallas in 2006, Vogel led the CMOS and Novel Devices Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and was founding director of the institute’s Nanofabrication Facility.

State-of-the-Art Labs Open

The Texas Analog Center of Excellence has opened its new 8,000-square-foot labs, paving the way for the $16 million research center’s continued growth.

“One of the things we want to accomplish with this facility is to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to develop technology that people working in one particular discipline couldn’t come up with on their own,” said Dr. Kenneth K. O, director of TxACE and holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair at UT Dallas, where he is a professor of electrical engineering.

“So we’re going to have not only analog circuit designers but also physicists and bioengineers and others here,” he added, “and we want them all to work together to come up with solutions to some of the great challenges the world faces today.” (more…)

TxACE Awards Nearly $1.7 Million

The Texas Analog Center of Excellence at UT Dallas has awarded nearly $1.7 million in grants to Texas researchers to develop new technology for solar cells, biosensors, implantable heart defibrillators and much more.

“The primary theme of these three-year grants is to address grand challenges from the semiconductor industry’s International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors,” said Dr. Eric Vogel, associate director of TxACE and an associate professor of materials science and engineering at UT Dallas. “Addressing the challenges in the ITRS requires circuit design research in three main areas: management and optimization of circuit power and energy, design of robust circuits and design of high-performance circuits.” (more…)