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Solid-State Circuits Society Newsletter, IEEE

Issue 3 • Date Summer 2008

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 38
  • IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society News - Cover

    Page(s): 1
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  • Editor's Column

    Page(s): 2 - 3
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  • IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society News - Table of contents

    Page(s): 3
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  • President's Message

    Page(s): 4
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  • Introduction

    Page(s): 4
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  • Symbiosis in the Technology World

    Page(s): 5 - 7
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    The trick in any symbiotic arrangement is to bind it with deliverables that can and act as a convenient brake if the project starts to go off the rails and enable you to track and measure output to justify your resource expenditure and facilitate staged payment deals. A workable relationship depends upon the parties involved and the nature of the programme. In some cases, its value may lie in the unbounded, free thinking that academics can bring to the dynamics. In other cases, closely confined, structured research may be more applicable to realize the aspirations of the commercial partners. Either way, whatever is decided needs to be agreed upfront and be manageable. Intellectual property issues, such as sole right to use versus open access, single versus multiple use licences, royalty based agreements based upon volume sales, one-off costs and inferred rights transfer, indemnification and post sales support, can run aground for a variety of reasons. My advice is simple -- be realistic. View full abstract»

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  • The Electronic Watch and Low-Power Circuits

    Page(s): 7 - 23
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    Renowned as an expert in low-power CMOS circuit design and for groundbreaking work with miniature electronic devices, Dr. Eric A. Vittoz relates his life, work and times in this original retrospective for the SSCS News. According to Yannis Tsividis, also in this issue, Dr. Vittoz's influence continues to grow, as low voltage and low power become increasingly important in the engineering of mobile devices. Dr. Vittoz is a Research Fellow at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology in Neuchatel, Switzerland, an IEEE Fellow, and a professor at EPFL, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. He has published more than 130 papers and holds 26 patents. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • A Short Story of the EKV MOS Transistor Model

    Page(s): 24 - 30
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    The EKV MOS transistor model and design methodology evolved from the first weak inversion transistor models of the 1970's. In this first-hand account, Christian Enz chronicles the evolution of the hierarchical structure, limited parameters and flexibility of the EKV model that he developed with colleagues such as Francois Krummenacher and Eric Vittoz (the "E" "K" and "V" of EKV) at the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) in Neuchatel. With the aggressive downscaling of CMOS technologies today, the EKV compact model is shifting increasingly from the traditional strong inversion region toward moderate and weak inversion regions. View full abstract»

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  • Watch microelectronics: Pioneer in portable consumer electronics

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    Mougahed Darwish, Marc Degrauwe, Thomas E. Gyger, Gunther Meusburger and Jean Claude Robert - a group of Swiss engineers at ETA and EM Microelectronic, the semiconductor manufacturer of the Swatch Group - describe the consraints of the watch-making industry that have shaped watch microelectronics, and relate how the pioneering skills and solutions of quartz watch-making have diffused into other portable consumer electronics applications. View full abstract»

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  • It's about Time: A Brief Chronology of Chronometry

    Page(s): 42 - 49
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    The evolution of clock making, recounted in this article by Thomas H. Lee, advanced dramatically after low-power, quartz-controlled watches were first developed by Eric Vittoz and others at the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) over forty years ago. Due in great part to their work, even the least expensive wristwatches today are so precise that the need for better stability no longer drives their evolution. Instead, the ability to integrate more functions per unit volume explains why many watches are becoming multipurpose information appliances including PDAs, infrared remote controls, pagers, radios, TVs, walkie-talkies and MP3 players. In the future, low-power will become increasingly important as engineers struggle to address the constrained power budgets of the wristwatch form factor. View full abstract»

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  • History of the Development of Swiss Watch Microprocessors

    Page(s): 50 - 55
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    While the microprocessors used today in most personal computers, PDA's and self-phones are very well known, the evolution of watch microprocessors is a completely unknown and a very "Swiss" or "Neuchatel" story. Christian Piguet, a designer of low-power low-voltage integrated circuits in CMOS technology and the author of more than a dozen patents on digital design, microprocessors and watch systems, provides a first hand view of this chronology. View full abstract»

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  • Eric Vittoz and the Strong Impact of Weak Inversion Circuits

    Page(s): 56 - 58
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    In a groundbreaking and now classic 1977 paper, Eric Vittoz and J. Fellrath meticulously characterized and developed models for devices operating in the weak inversion region, as well as a variety of circuit building blocks that could operate and exploit the exponential characteristics in this region. Their killer application -- the electronic watch -- employed techniques that are now used in a score of low-voltage, micropower applications, such as biomedical devices, hearing aids, pagers, sensor interfaces, motion detectors for pointing devices, and a variety of portable instruments. This tribute to Vittoz as an educator and industrial researcher is by Yannis Tsividis of Columbia University, an esteemed scientist and educator in his own right. View full abstract»

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  • Executive Summary: Advances in Ultra-Low-Voltage Design

    Page(s): 59
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    The idea of exploiting weak-inversion operation for low power circuits was pioneered by Dr. Eric Vittoz in the 1960's, and has led to many recent advances in sub-threshold circuit design. Today, sub-threshold operation provides a compelling solution for a number of emerging energy-constrained systems implemented in scaled CMOS technologies. This article by Joyce Kwong and Anantha Chandrakasan, to be printed in full in the SSCS Fall News, outlines some recent advances and challenges associated with sub-threshold circuit design, including the design of new logic and memory circuits, support circuitry, and the use of redundancy. View full abstract»

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  • Executive Summary: Gigasensors for an Attoscope

    Page(s): 60
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    The introduction of silicon chips in particle physics experiments went by steps. In this summary of an article to be printed in full in the Fall News, Erik Heijne of CERN, the elementary particle accelerator laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, traces some of the history of silicon detectors and readout chips for tracking detectors that form the inner shells of the equipment. View full abstract»

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  • Complementary-MOS Low-Power Low-Voltage Integrated Binary Counter

    Page(s): 61 - 65
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    In May 1962, Dr. Eric Vittoz was the first electrical engineer hired by Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), the research laboratory founded in Neuchatel, Switzerland by several organizations representing most of the Swiss watch industry. This paper represents Dr. Vittoz's early work there on an integrated complementary MOS-transistor binary counter stage realized in monolithic form, which allowed p-channel and n-channel MOSTs to be grouped together within two distinct surface areas, resulting in a reduction of the surface necessary for given circuit functions. The integrated frequency divider was used in the first prototypes of electronic watches. View full abstract»

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  • Microwatt Switched Capacitor Circuit Design, E. Vittoz, Presented at a Summer Course on Switched Capacitor Circuits, June 9–12, 1981, ESAT, KU Leuven

    Page(s): 66
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    Exemplifying the contributions of Dr. Eric Vittoz to low-voltage, low-power CMOS logic, this paper examines the CMOS implementation of the three basic components of SC circuits in the context of low power and low voltage, and explores the trade-off between lower power, settling time, and noise considerations. This paper will be reprinted in full in the Fall 2008 SSCS News. View full abstract»

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  • Frequency Divider Circuit (U.S. Patent No. 3,619,646) Eric Andre Vittoz, 1971

    Page(s): 67 - 68
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    Granted in 1971, Eric Vittoz's patent for the first binary frequency divider was used in the first prototypes of the electronic watch. His frequency divider circuit included at least one logical structure complying with certain Boole Relations including two complementary input quantities and two output quantities. The logical structure comprised three pairs of field effect transistors, such as MOS-transistors having isolated gates. A cascade of such binary frequency divider circuits could be made as an integrated circuit. The SSCS News includes pages 1-2 of this patent. View full abstract»

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  • Timekeeper (U.S. Patent No. 3,895,486) W. Hammer, E. Vittoz, J. Hermann, H. Choffat, 1975

    Page(s): 69 - 70
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    Patented in 1975, Eric Vittoz's "Timekeeper" was comprised of a quartz crystal resonator with a stable frequency and a relatively large tolerance, and a frequency divider with an adjustable division ratio. This divider had auxiliary electrical inputs whose logical state determined the division ratio, and an electrically alterable electronic memory that supplyied stored data to determine the logical state of the auxiliary inputs and the division ratio. The SSCS News provides pages 1-2 of this patent. View full abstract»

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  • Clark Nguyen Presents DL Talk on RF-MEMS in Japan

    Page(s): 71 - 72
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  • Congratulations New Senior Members, 35 Elevated in February, March and April

    Page(s): 72
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  • Tools: Tips for Making Writing Easier, Part 2: Narrow Your Questions, Shape Your Answers

    Page(s): 72
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    Part 2: Narrow Your Questions, Shape Your Answers In "The Five-Minute Miracle" -- a quick and easy way to approach a short piece of writing (reprinted in the Spring '08 SSCS News) -- you set up an imaginary conversation with your reader, beginning with your main message and continuing with answers that anticipate his or her probable questions about that message. Using the "Key Point & Backup" method, you give each answer first and then make that answer credible by bolstering it with an example, illustration, or explanation. View full abstract»

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  • Corrections

    Page(s): 73
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    On page 5 of the SSCS News Vol. 13, No.2, the author of "Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer," should be Swade, not "Swore." View full abstract»

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  • ISSCC Student Forum

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  • 2007 VLSI-TSA/DAT Best Paper Awards Presented in Hsinchu, April, 2008

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  • Now It's Japan's Turn to Host, 4th Asian Solid-State Circuits Conference, November 3–5, 2008, Fukuoka, Japan

    Page(s): 76 - 77
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Aims & Scope

This Periodical ceased production in 2008. The current retitled publication is IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine.

Full Aims & Scope