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Novel class of data converters that can be designed with fully-automated digital design flows for design turnaround time down to a few hours instead of months

posted May 21, 2020, 5:55 PM by Green IC group ‎(‎
A new class of sensor interfaces cuts down the design effort from months to hours, reduces circuit complexity by at least 30 times, while being highly robust against wide fluctuations in power harvested from the environment.

The Green IC research group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering invented a novel class of Digital-to-Analog (DAC) and Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) that can be entirely designed with a fully-automated digital design methodology, thanks to its fully-digital architecture.

The NUS Green IC team: Dr Orazio Aiello (left) and Associate Professor Massimo Alioto (right)

Compared to traditional analog architectures and methodologies, the design turnaround time for these novel sensor interfaces is reduced from months to hours. The drastic reduction in the design effort is highly beneficial in cost-sensitive silicon systems, such as sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT). The novel data converter architecture also has very low complexity, reducing the silicon area and hence the manufacturing cost by at least 30 times, compared to conventional designs.