Three PhD students Ms. Zhu Yan (Julia), Mr. Chan Chi Hang and Mr. Wong Si Seng, led by Dr. Sin Sai Weng, Prof. U Seng Pan and Prof. Rui Martins from the State-Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI, University of Macau (UM), have developed three advanced nanometer analog-to-digital converter and comparator chips that were all accepted by the IEEE Asian Solid-State Circuits Conference (A-SSCC), known as “Asia’s Chip Olympics”. One of the relevant papers also won the student design contest, ranking No. 1. Macao was the only region to achieve a paper acceptance rate of 100% at this year’s A-SSCC, and all of the papers were from UM.
A-SSCC is Asia’s most prestigious conference in the field of integrated circuits and provides a platform for top institutions from the industry and the academia (most from Asia, but also many from Europe and the U.S.) to showcase their latest technological achievements. This year’s conference was held in Jeju, South Korea. A-SSCC has always attracted the most advanced technological achievements in the field, and it was no exception this year. R&D results presented at this year’s A-SSCC included Samsung’s low-latency 90nm video codec chip for full HD 1080p streaming, Intel’s second-generation Intel multi-core graphics chip in 32nm, Toshiba’s high-density 40nm SRAM, the University of California, Los Angeles’s fourth-generation cellular LTE Direct-Sampling Receiver, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST, Korea's top institute in science and technology) low-energy transceiver for Wireless Body Area Network, and Tokyo Institute of Technology’s 60GHz Direct-Conversion Transceiver in 65nm.
A-SSCC has very strict standards for paper selection, requesting submitted papers to contain forcibly prototype chip results, and only chip designs at the forefront of CMOS nanotechnology will be selected. The average paper acceptance rate is only 36%, with half from the industry and half from universities. At this year’s A-SSCC, acceptance rates for Taiwan, Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, the U.S., and Singapore ranged from 0% to 58%, while acceptance rate for Macao was 100%. In fact, Macao was the only region to achieve a paper acceptance rate of 100% at this year’s A-SSCC. The number of accepted papers from Macao accounted for 3.1% of the total number of accepted papers, which represents a significant contribution, given that accepted papers from the whole mainland China accounted for only 5.1%. A-SSCC’s rigorous criteria guarantee the high standards of accepted papers. This year, a total of 119 student papers were submitted, and through strict evaluation, three won the student design contest. UM student Julia ranked No.1, followed by participants from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, and Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan.
Prof. U Seng Pan, who co-led the UM team with Dr. Sin Sai Weng, has been long devoted to advancing the industrialization of microelectronics in Macao. In 2009, he was invited to serve as resident Technical Program Committee member for Analog Circuits and System of A-SSCC, becoming the first expert from Macao to ever serve on such a high-level technical programme committee, whose members are all well-known experts from the industry and renowned universities, including Sharp, Toshiba, Samsung, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, National Tawian University, KAIST, and Tokyo Institute of Technology.