Saturday, May 16, 2009


Q&A with two signal integrity experts.

A Fourier transform is not the same as a Laplace transform.

A funny and informative video blog for lab rats (I like to think of myself as one).

A teardown of a "green phone":

[...] Above all, Motorola has shown that converting an existing design to a more ecologically friendly product does not require major innovation; it's something that can be done for just about any phone, and could've been done long ago.

The IEEE Spectrum slideshow on chip history.


An interesting technical note by NASA on a photodiode with low dark current and enhanced blue sensitivity.

An overview of MEMS development.

An article on capacitive sensors for patient monitoring.

And another one on an implantable sensor for cancer monitoring.

A technical article in two parts by an Intersil engineer :"Making Accurate Voltage-Noise and Current-Noise Measurements on Operational Amplifiers Down to 0.1 Hz". Again you need Explorer or this plugin for Firefox.


Nanoparticles to replace semiconductor LEDs.

More on graphene:

More on the PSP transistor model

An article in two parts on using the PSP model in RF. They can only be viewed with Internet Explorer unless you install this plugin for Firefox, but it somehow disbaled the clipboard functionality in my case. Or you can register in techonline and get it on pdf here.


On metal interconnects for next generation's 22nm technologies. And more on masks for 32 and 22 nm technologies.

An article on substrate integrated circuits (SiCs) for future Ghz and Thz electronic and photonic systems.

More buzz on 3D interconnects as the next singularity for the semiconductor industry. And a post which goes into some detail on the TSV technology which TSMC will offer soon.

A replacement for polyisilicon as gate material, by Freescale.

An interesting article on designing flexible printed circuit boards.


I don't know how widespread is the knowledge of this service, funded by the EU. IDESA offers very good seminars at no cost for european educational institutions.

I recently attended a very interesting seminar by Thomas Skotnicki on commercial 45 and 65 nm CMOS technologies. The talk was recorded for this series and it should be added to the website soon. There were two things that formed the backbone of his talk in my opinion. First, good understanding of the phyiscs behind the devices is of utmost importance to optimize the devices. And, second: going from one experimental device fabricated in the lab to reliable industrial fabrication of multimillion equal (or at least similar) devices is a very big leap.

As an analog designer, it was also good to hear yet another confirmation that feedback is probably the most important tool for smart analog circuit design.

He also mentioned (and showed examples of) the MASTAR software, which is available here.

Medical applications

A nice application note from Texas Instruments on medical applications of their chips.


Several links having to do with "power":

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Circuit theory

Two items of interest:

More on engineering history

Interesting article at EE Times by Rob Walker.

Semiconductor technology has enabled our computers, the Internet and 50-mpg cars. Your cell phone has more computational power than the computers did on the Apollo moon lander. Yet in spite of the semiconductor's seminal importance, semiconductor history is neglected by historians as "too new" and by the business media as "old news."

More on graphene

"Carbon nanodevices for sensors, actuators, and electronics" at SPIE.

[...]. Despite the promise of vastly superior performance of CNT and graphene-based devices, several fabrication issues need to be resolved to realize their full potential. [...]

Compare to the article which appeared recently in the spanish newspaper "El País" because the main researcher at M.I.T. working on graphene is spanish.

A more scientific explanation of the possible physics experiments done on graphene.

[...] Graphene has long been a theoretical model for 2D crystals. The unique properties of graphene excite theoretical physicists for another reason, too. It turns out that the quantum mechanics of electrons in graphene are identical to the quantum mechanics of massless relativistic particles, with the Fermi velocity (vF, about 10^6 m/sec) taking the place of the speed of light (c, about 3 × 10^8 m/sec). Graphene brings to benchtop equipment experiments that would otherwise require high energy particle accelerators.

New version of the GigE Vision standard

More info at Advanced Imaging magazine.

TSMC 40 nm technology

SemiSerious takes a look at the technology.

And TSMC admits that they still have yield issues.

Interesting application of stereo imaging

It's not that far fetched, but I must confess it hadn't crossed my mind: "The Secret Of Google's Book Scanning Machine Revealed".

Odd paper of the month

From the 2008 International SoC Design Conference: "Multiplier design based on ancient Indian Vedic Mathematics". The abstract:

Vedic mathematics is the name given to the ancient Indian system of mathematics that was rediscovered in the early twentieth century from ancient Indian sculptures (Vedas). It mainly deals with Vedic mathematical formulae and their application to various branches of mathematics. The algorithms based on conventional mathematics can be simplified and even optimized by the use of Vedic Sutras. These methods and ideas can be directly applied to trigonometry, plain and spherical geometry, conics, calculus (both differential and integral), and applied mathematics of various kinds. In this paper new multiplier and square architecture is proposed based on algorithm of ancient Indian Vedic Mathematics, for low power and high speed applications. It is based on generating all partial products and their sums in one step. The design implementation on ALTERA Cyclone -II FPGA shows that the proposed Vedic multiplier and square are faster than array multiplier and Booth multiplier.