A research team from the University of Macau (UM) recently received the Best Paper Award at the European Solid-State Circuits Conference (ESSCIRC) 2015 held in Graz, Austria. The ESSCIRC is considered ‘Europe’s “Chip Olympics”’. This year’s conference attracted 200 high-quality papers from around the world. The UM team is comprised of assistant professor Zhu Yan and PhD student Chan Chi Hang from the State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI; Prof U Seng Pan from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology; and Vice Rector (Research) Rui Martins.
The research project covered in the award-winning paper, titled ‘11-bit 900MS/s Time-Interleaved Subranging Pipelined-SAR ADC’, proposes three key innovations, in ADC architecture, sampling front-end, and digital calibration techniques, which can help ADC achieve excellent energy efficiency, linearity, and accuracy even at an extremely high speed.
Compared to the designs published at this year’s IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), the design by the UM team not only can avoid complex timing-skew calibration, but can also achieve a much better dynamic performance with extremely small area and low power consumption. This high-speed, high-resolution ADC can have many applications, including in wireless communication, high-speed Ethernet, broadband satellite, and power line communication. The outcomes of the project also increases the possibility of technology transfer in the future.
Prof U Seng Pan says that UM’s microelectronics team has gained increasing international recognition for its achievements in chip design, and is influential in different fields, particularly in the field of ADC with low power consumption and high performance. UM is now ranked No 2 in the world in terms of the number of papers published in journals and at conferences which are the most renowned in the field of integrated circuits and which only accept results with successful measurements from fabricated silicon chips.
Dr Zhu Yan has been involved in research in ADC with high speed and low power consumption and digital calibration for many years. She has published ten journal papers and 26 conference papers, and holds four US patents. Zhu says that the award is a result of the challenging yet farsighted research goals set by the supervisor, the joint effort of all team members, and, more importantly, the support of UM and the Science and Technology Development Fund, which allowed the team to work in a first-class research environment.
Launched in 1974, the ESSCIRC is one of the most influential conferences in the field of electrical and electronic engineering. It is considered ‘Europe’s Chip Olympics’. This year’s conference attracted experts and scholars from around the world.
Source: Communication Office of UM