by Steven Keeping:
LEDs have many advantages over traditional lighting including efficacy, longevity, and robustness, but price is not one of them.
The reason why LEDs are expensive is partly because the manufacturing process used to fabricate the wafers from which the individual chips are cut is difficult and employs exotic materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) deposited on sapphire or silicon-carbide (SiC) substrates.
But recently, some manufacturers have proposed using silicon, the material routinely used to fabricate billions of integrated circuits (ICs) every year, as an LED substrate. Apart from potentially reducing the cost of LEDs, the use of mature complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) IC technology would allow fabrication in conventional wafer fabs that have spare capacity.
Will Silicon Substrates Push LED Lighting Into the Mainstream? - [Link]
by Steve Taranovich
The following is a white paper by Silicon Labs with an innovative new process and technology that I believe deserves some level of detail and explanation for informative and educational purposes for EDN readers. Learning about this technology will help all designers give birth to new ideas and architectures as well as help those other designers to effectively integrate this type of product into their systems,
CMEMS® technology is an innovative CMOS + MEMS manufacturing process developed by Silicon Labs, a leading supplier of timing solutions. The term CMEMS is a contraction of the acronyms CMOS and MEMS (microelectromechanical systems). CMEMS technology offers many benefits over traditional oscillator approaches, ranging from scalability, customer-specific programmability and 0-day samples, to long-term reliability and performance. This white paper describes CMEMS process technology, existing hybrid oscillator architectures and the Si501/2/3/4 (Si50x) CMEMS oscillator architecture.
CMEMS oscillator architecture - [Link]
New Si50x CMEMS® Oscillators Leap Ahead of Quartz-Based Timing Devices with Superior Frequency Stability, Reliability and Programmability
Silicon Labs has developed a new low-drift, single-die MEMS oscillator fabricated using a CMOS process. By porting low-temperature MEMS technology to the SMIC foundry, they managed to build a SiGe structure on top of the passivation layer of a CMOS logic chip using an existing CMOS production line. The drift problems of dual-die devices are eliminated by selecting specific materials to counteract thermal drift. The programmable oscillators operate at up to 100 MHz with frequency stability down to 20 ppm. Higher speed devices are planned, according to a Silicon Labs’ source.
CMOS MEMS (CMEMS) technology allows data sheet performance for frequency stability to be guaranteed for ten years, including solder shift, load pulling, supply voltage variation, operating temperature range, vibration and shock. This is ten times longer than typically offered by comparable crystal and MEMS oscillators. The oscillators tightly couple the MEMS resonator with CMOS temperature sensing and compensation circuitry, ensuring a highly stable frequency output despite thermal transients and over the full industrial temperature range. [via]
New MEMS Oscillators Boast Long-term Stability - [Link]
Here’s a video describing CMOS current sources.
CMOS current source circuits are examined. The voltage versus current and layout are presented. The channel region versus the voltage/current curve is explained. The equation to calculate the Gate-Source voltage is given. The CMOS cascode current source is also explored.
App note: CMOS current source - [Link]
The C10988MA-01 sensor from Hamamatsu Photonics is an ultra-compact spectrometer built with Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) technology. Measuring only 27.6 x 13 x 16.8 mm and weighing just 9 grams, the device is intended to be used in portable and hand-held devices where a standard mini-spectrometer would be too large and consume too much power. [via]
The new device features an aberration-corrected concave grating with a very short focal length and blazed grating profile for high diffraction efficiency. The grating is replicated onto a convex glass lens using nano-print technology. Directly opposite the grating there is a dedicated CMOS silicon image sensor with an on-chip slit. This 75 x 750 µm slit is formed in the CMOS chip using MEMS technology. The distance between the sensor and slit is only 1 mm, and the distance between the grating and the image sensor distance a mere 8.5mm. Thanks to its novel design, the sensor offers a spectral resolution of 14 nm in the wavelength range of 340 to 750 nm, making it suitable for a variety of visible light applications requiring a miniaturized spectrometer head.
Ultra-Compact Spectrometer Sensor Targets Visible Light - [Link]
The LTC6090 is a high voltage precision operational amplifier. The low noise, low bias current input stage is ideal for high gain configurations. The LTC6090 has low input offset voltage, a rail-to-rail output stage, and can be run from a single 140V or split ±70V supplies.
The LTC6090 is internally protected against overtemperature conditions. A thermal warning output, TFLAG, goes active when the die temperature approaches 150°C. The output stage can be turned off with the output disable pin OD. By tying the OD pin to the thermal warning output, the part will disable the output stage when it is out of the safe operating area. These pins easily interface to any logic family.
The LTC6090 is available in an 8-lead SO and 16-lead TSSOP with exposed pad for low thermal resistance.
LTC6090 – 140V CMOS Rail-to-Rail Output, Picoamp Input Current Op Amp - [Link]
Dilshan developed a precision event logger based on the PIC16F73 and some binary ripple counters from the CMOS logic family. The project uses a 2Mhz reference clock, and is capable of measuring events from 0.02 to 6.8 seconds long. [via]
The counter gets activate and deactivate in positive edge of the input signal. Thanks to the wider operating voltage of the CMOS ICs this counter may be able to handle +5V to +15V of input signal. At the end of the counter session system release total tick count to the RS232 interface and it can receive through any serial terminal software. When applying the inputs it is recommended to maintain minimum of 100ms of interval between each session.
Precision event logger measures 0.02 to 6.8 seconds - [Link]
More and more data-intensive applications are running on modern wireless consumer electronic products, and communication channels below 10 GHz, such as WLAN, are confronted with spectrum scarcity. Wireless system designers are therefore compelled to explore higher frequency bands, such as the unlicensed 60 GHz band. This band is available throughout the world and allows multi-Gbps wireless communication over short distances. However, the cost, footprint and power consumption must be drastically reduced to enable deployment of 60 GHz wireless communication technology in portable mass-market products.
An important step towards the deployment of 60 GHz technology is the new prototype transceiver front-end IC developed by Imec and Panasonic that achieves a 7 Gbps data rate over short distances in the four channels specified by the IEEE 802.11ad standard with QAM16 modulation and an error vector management figure better than -17 dB. The transmitter signal path, consisting of a power amplifier and a mixer, consumes 90 mW with 10.2 dBm OP1dB. The receiver signal path, consisting of a low-noise amplifier and a mixer, consumes 35 mW and has a noise figure of 5.5 dB and 30 dB gain. Electrostatic discharge robustness is over 4 kV with a human body model. The compact 0.7 mm³ core area makes the transceiver front-end especially suitable for use in phased arrays. The small area is achieved by using lumped components and very compact millimeter-wave CMOS layout methods. [via]
CMOS Transceiver hits 7 Gbps in 60 GHz Band - [Link]
Ibrahim KAMAL writes:
Today I am going to talk about low cost and effective image processing for very specific embedded applications. I am not talking about robots recognizing their environment or finding their way to a power plug, but rather using small CMOS camera as better sensor. We have used this technology for various clients in our consulting service, so I am not going to get into the very specifics of any of those applications cause it would be a breach to our NDAs. Still, IKALOGIC aims to educate and share knowledge to the world. Considering that, I thought about writing a short tutorial, showing to beginners how to get started in that rather intimidating field.
CMOS camera as a sensor - [Link]
Imec and Genalyte have developed and produced a set of disposable silicon photonics biosensor chips for use in diagnostic and molecular detection equipment. The chips combine standard silicon photonic waveguide technology with bio-compatible modifications and were manufactured using standard microelectronic CMOS fabrication technology. The chips have been tested in the field and proven to meet the functional requirements with high yield.
The high integration level of silicon photonics on the chips enables extensive multiplexed biosensing. Each chip can contain up to 128 ring resonator sensors coated with application-specific chemicals to provide very sensitive molecular detection capability. [via]
Disposable Biosensors Feature Molecular Detection - [Link]