Tag Archives: Italy

Converter Passion Citation Boost

Stuff like this makes a tech-blogging nerd happy …

A very pleasant recent observation is that this blogs scientific citation frequency just improved by ∞ % (from zero to one), thanks to an IWADC paper [1] referring to a Converter Passion post [2]. It may be a humble start, but it was good news to see that someone out there trusts the data on this blog enough to include it as a reference in a scientific publication. To the best of my knowledge that was a first for Converter Passion, but let me know if you get a paper published that cites Converter Passion. Should it become a trend, I might have to compile a list of citations here, but I’ll wait until we have at least two … 😉

Update: Now there are more than one, so I’ve now added a citation list.


[1]    F. Fuiano, L. Cagnazzo, and P. Carbone, “Data Converters: an Empirical Research on the Correlation between Scientific Literature and Patenting Activity,” Proc. of Int. Workshop on ADC Modelling, Testing and Data Converter Analysis and Design (IWADC), Orvieto, Italy, June, 2011.

[2] B. E. Jonsson, “Who has done all that A/D-converter research?,” Converter Passion, Nov. 6, 2010, Available: https://converterpassion.wordpress.com

Back from IWADC 2011

Views from Orvieto (click to enlarge)

I’m completely in love with Italy now. It was my first time there, and I was impressed by just about every aspect of the visit – the beautiful landscape, the fascinating history embodied in ancient buildings, and of course by the people. Perhaps it was accentuated by me going through the “vanilla phase” with Italy, but it did seem very easy to get a kind smile from just about any Italian I met throughout the entire trip.

A fraction of the big happy family of IWADC delegates

Attending IWADC 2011 was every bit as pleasant: The conference itself ran like clockwork, the medieval city of Orvieto was a decidedly pretty conference location, and the relatively small size of the conference contributed to the relaxed and friendly character of the event. Almost like a family event – a big happy Italian family, I could imagine :-). The feeling of being welcome and surrounded by “family” was very much accentuated by the hospitality shown by the conference general chair, professor Paolo Carbone (University of Perugia), members of the organizing committee, and other delegates. During the conference dinner when we were also treated with one tasty Italian dish after another, I remember uttering something like “all conferences should be in Italy”. That’s how good it felt to be there.

Who doesn’t love Italian food? I was late to some sessions because I tried to eat all the Salatini before they cleared the tables …

CWCP winner

A winner: Yu Lin

Now being a solid tradition, each conference I attend needs to have an opportunity to connect with Converter Passion. To motivate conference delegates to not be shy we came up with the Connect with Converter Passion (CWCP) prize. The rules are simple: First blog reader to find me at the conference and claim the prize is the winner, and for IWADC 2011 the winner is Yu Lin, a PhD student at Technical University of Eindhoven who was also presenting the paper “An Input Signal Statistics Aware Design Approach and Examples for Analog-to-Digital Converters for communication systems” at the conference [co-authors: Kostas Doris (NXP), Hans Hegt and Arthur van Roermund (TU Eindhoven)]. It was a pleasure to meet such a motivated blog reader. Yu aimed for victory and did not hesitate to claim the prize already at the informal pre-conference reception at restaurant Maurizio. Definitely the right spirit and a worthy winner indeed. Congratulations! Normally, the competition is only for the glory, but this time a small surprise memento was added in the form of a handmade key ring in black leather produced by “Boothill Bob” from Boothill Bob Holsters.

The conference

IWADC covers ADC modeling, testing and data converter analysis and design. Because it is an IMEKO conference, various aspects of measurement becomes a natural thread in many contributions, although the scope is rather wide. It includes calibration of ADCs and error correction of the ADC output, such as presented in the papers “Digital background calibration of subsampling time-interleaved ADCs” by Centurelli from Università di Roma la Sapienza, and “A Linearization Strategy for Undersampling Analog-to-Digital Converters” by Vallant from Cassidian Electronics. Time-to-Digital Converters (TDC) seems to be a growing field, and a fair number of papers addressed various aspects of TDCs, for example “Modeling Noise Effects in Time-to-Digital Converters” by Napolitano, University of Perugia, and “Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) with Sub-ps-Level Resolution using Current DAC and Digitally Controllable Load Capacitor ” by Alahdab from University of Oulu. There were classic ADC implementation papers such as “A 6-bit 3GS/s Flash ADC in Bipolar 0.25 um for the radiotelescope SKA” by Da Silva from Station de Radioastronomie de Nançay, and I personally found it interesting to hear about ADC implementations in emerging materials, as in “ADC Design in Organic Thin-Film Electronics Technology on Plastic Foil” by Marien of K. U. Leuven.

Scientific discussions

Of my own contributions, the first (An empirical approach to finding energy efficient ADC architectures) was about using the measured performance of chips made by others to better optimize your own design, and the second (Using Figures-of-Merit to Evaluate Measured A/D-Converter Performance) treated how to assess the quality of figures-of-merit often used to make comparisons of measured performance.

IWADC face recognition

There were many more papers presented at the conference, but I don’t intend to walk you through the entire program. Note also that I have mostly mentioned the first authors above although most papers have one or more co-authors. Please add comments below and tell us about any papers, co-authors or delegates that you wish to mention. Or just say hi, and let everybody know you were there too. Share the name of your contribution, and your impressions from the conference with us.

Yes, I was there. Here together with publication chair, Dr. Antonio Moschitta (left) and general chair, professor Paolo Carbone (right).

To round it off, I’ve made a pie chart of the distribution of delegates between countries, based on statistics provided by professor Carbone. As could be expected, the Italian representation was strong. The rest of the countries are quite evenly represented. As you can see, delegates came from both USA and China, although the vast majority were from European countries.

Distribution of IWADC 2011 delegates by country

Please post your comments below if there is anything you’d like to add about the conference.

Connect with Converter Passion at IWADC 2011

Anyone planning to attend IWADC 2011 – the international workshop on ADC and data converters – in Italy the coming week?  Then make sure to connect, and you may win the Connect-with-Converter Passion prize for IWADC 2011. The reward is to have yourself mentioned here on the blog (see winners from last years NORCHIP and ICECS here and here), and the only thing you need to do to win is to be the first attendee to locate me during the conference and claim the prize. Besides announcing and introducing the winner of the CWCP,  I also plan to highlight a few interesting papers, pick up the conference “vibes” and share it in my reporting from the conference. I’ll be interested to talk to all of you, so even if you didn’t win the CWCP race I will be very happy to hear what you have to say about the conference, tech blogs, or the data converter field in general. What are your views on ADC FOM, the data converter market and scientific trends for the next decade, and more …

Look for this face

If you haven’t found me before, a safe bet is around the High-efficiency Data Converters session (Thursday 14:15–15:45) where I will present my first contribution An empirical approach to finding energy efficient ADC architectures , or at the Poster Session II for which I am chair on Friday, and where I will also present my second contribution Using Figures-of-Merit to Evaluate Measured A/D-Converter Performance. For more details, see the “Going to Italy, Yes, Yes, Yes!” post, and the conference program.

Going to Italy … Yes, Yes, Yes!!

I will actually try to make some sense out of plots like this one during the IWADC.

The review results from IWADC have now reached me and, yes … it looks like I’ll be going to Orvieto this summer to present two ADC papers. It will be great fun to go. Now, the only thing that I have to do to ensure a happy stay is to prevent my wife from realizing just how beautiful the city of Orvieto and the surrounding area really are, otherwise she’ll drag me out of geek heaven (discussing data-converter issues with like-minded people in windowless conference rooms with dimmed lights) and force me to see magnificent medieval buildings, and perhaps some stunning views from the region of Umbria. Now, who would want to do that? 😉

The two papers I’ll present are titled “An empirical approach to finding energy efficient ADC architectures” and “Using Figures-of-Merit to Evaluate Measured A/D-Converter Performance“. The first paper takes a look at the entire body of measured and scientifically published monolithic ADC implementations in order to determine the energy-efficiency of different architectures across the entire resolution range from 2 to 22 effective bits. An efficiency hierarchy of ADC architectures is extracted from the empirical data, and key low-power enablers are identified by a more specific review of the 15 most power-efficient ADCs ever reported. So, if you want to know if SAR ADCs dissipate less power than their pipeline counterparts, or what the difference is between flash and folding ADCs in terms of energy efficiency, this is a paper for you. If you come to IWADC you’ll see the scatter plots explained in real life. Trust me, you don’t want to design ultra-low-power ADCs without knowing what’s in this paper. [I could of course be biased … ;-)]

Believe it or not – there is some meaning to all of this too. Hopefully it will all be clear before you leave Orvieto.

The second paper reviews the practice of using figures-of-merit (FOM) to compare measured ADC performance – a topic you may recognize from this blog. In fact, the more tutorial-oriented introduction and background parts of the paper include the generic FOM and the generic FOM classes you may have seen already, while the core contribution in the paper is the analysis of FOM properties by applying them to real data. More specifically, their correlation with the two design/implementation parameters ENOB and CMOS node is observed and discussed. The entire body of measured and scientifically reported monolithic ADCs is once again used to support the analysis. Sensitive listeners should be warned about this paper – your trust in a certain FOM may be somewhat challenged during presentation 😉

Now, didn’t that make you at least a bit curious?

And how about you? Any plans to go to IWADC 2011? Any contributions you wish to mention? Does the phrase “going to Italy” sound nice to you as well?

Trying to keep warm

Staying indoors to keep warm

Here in Sweden we’ve just had the coldest December since 1800-something, and most of us are just trying to keep warm. Well … at least I do. Even with the “heat wave” (–4°C) we’re currently experiencing I still prefer the sweet warmth of the house. And then, of course, my boss (that’s me) is keeping me pinned down at the office desk with work, work, and more work. Right now I’m pushing myself to produce at least one, and hopefully two manuscripts to submit for review to the 2011 IMEKO IWADC conference. There’s still one more week before the closing date, so if you haven’t submitted anything yet you may want to give it a try yourself. Surely you have some good ideas that haven’t yet been published. Keep us posted about your progress!

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those that actually enjoy writing scientific papers. And right now in freezing cold Scandinavia, the thought of going to the warm and beautiful Italy in the summer is a major source of additional inspiration for writing 😉

Faithful blog visitors have probably been staring at those Water-on-Insulator crystals for a while now, wondering when or perhaps if this blog is ever going to return to the narrow path of data converters again. Have faith! As soon as the manuscripts are in – possibly even sooner – I’ll be back with a post opening up the topic of ADC figures-of-merit (FOM). Lots of potential for interesting discussions, don’t you think? Now you have a few days to prepare your mind …