Tag Archives: mixed-signal

Back from ICECS 2010

The blogger (left) enjoying his lunch dessert together with Fahad Qureshi (middle), and the ICECS 2010 winner of the “connect-with-Converter-Passion” prize, Syed Ahmed Aamir (right). Photo: Currently unknown (email me).

Well, just being able to write “back from ICECS 2010” is a major victory, as the hundreds of scientists trying to come home from Athens may testify. Transportation strikes in Greece combined with unusual amounts of snow and bad weather clogging up several European airports at once, made the trip back home slightly more adventurous than usual. I managed to slip through most of the tight net created by these circumstances, and have realized from watching the news that the few bumps I encountered still left me as one of the lucky guys.

A winner!

Speaking of lucky guys: The clear winner of the “Connect-with-Converter Passion” race this time was Syed Ahmed Aamir, student at Linköping University, Sweden. Although nothing was set in stone, he showed all the signs of a winner already in this comment. Something that may have scared off most of the competition. In order to break the complete Linköping dominance in this race, I’m planning to not consider the local organizers (Linköping University) eligible for the prize if I go to ECCTD 2011. Either way, Aamir came to Athens to present his own paper “A 1.2-V Pseudo-Differential OTA with Common-Mode Feedforward in 65-nm CMOS”, and a paper by Armin Jalili Sebardan et. al – also from Linköping – entitled “Calibration of High-Resolution Flash ADCs Based on Histogram Test Methods”. Their colleague, Fahad Qureshi, presented the paper “Alternatives For Low-Complexity Complex Rotators”.

More ICECS delegates

A nasty cold forced me to rest more than planned, and that hampered my networking activities to some degree. I did however manage to see Dr. Skyler Weaver from Oregon State University presenting his paper “PDF Folding for Stochastic Flash ADCs”, and the poster “Asynchronous CLS for Zero Crossing Based Circuits” by OSU colleagues Hariprasath Venkatram, et al. Unfortunately for Dr. Weaver, we ended up at the same banquet dinner table in the beautiful Vorres Museum. Rather than enjoying his meal with a socially competent table-mate chatting about music, sports and the weather, his brain was contaminated all night long with my various views on ADC design, the correct use of ADC figures-of-merit and the likes. You can imagine the trauma … 😉

Skyler is obviously a man with a big heart and lots of patience.

View from the Chair: The five authors preparing for the session.

I also have to commend all five presenters in session W1L-B (Analog-to-Digital Converters II), for which I was chair: You all showed up with your presentations in good order, and you were very disciplined staying within your time-slots. Your reward will be a slightly raised web presence by having your work highlighted here. The complete session was:

  1. Column Parallel Single-Slope ADC with Time to Digital Converter for CMOS Imager”, presented by Muung Shin from Hokkaido University, Japan.
  2. A Digital Processor for Full Calibration of Pipelined ADCs”, presented by Dr. Javad Frounchi from University of Tabriz, Iran.
  3. Comparison of DEM and BEET Linearization Techniques for Flash Analog-to-Digital Converters Using a SFDR Metric”, presented by Christopher D. McGuinness from University of Dayton Research Institute.
  4. An Ultra Low Power 9-bit 1MS/s Pipelined SAR ADC for Bio-medical Applications”, presented by Guohe Yin from University of Macau, China.
  5. Mismatch Aware Power and Area Optimization of Successive-Approximation ADCs”, presented by Jia Mao from Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

As previously shown, there were around 27 ADC-related papers altogether, and I’m not going to list them all here. You will soon find the entire proceedings on IEEE Xplore, and I don’t want to spoil all the fun by telling everything about the conference. As always, the comment field below is open for you to add your own views and comments. If you want to highlight any other paper, participant or author, just go ahead and do it. By all means, promote your own work too! Don’t be shy …

Enjoy the output of your own research field: Nifty proceedings and gadgets.

ICECS 2010 Proceedings and some final thoughts

I know it’s probably getting commonplace by now, but I still can’t help but liking the design and implementation of conference proceedings also this time: A pen, laser pointer and USB memory all in one. Very practical indeed, and I’m still dwelling on the fact that with proceedings like these we’re reaping the benefits of our own research in microelectronics.

Some of you have been mentioned above, but I met many other delegates that in one way or another made ICECS 2010 a memorable event. Thank you all for novel ideas, a kind smile, a good chat during coffee breaks, and for nice company at the tables. You know who you are. Makes yourselves known to the world by posting a greeting below.

Also, if you have anything you want to ask about my paper “A Survey of A/D-Converter Performance Evolution”, or want to add anything to what I’ve written above, feel free to do so in your comments.

Finally, I haven’t decided yet what conference(s) to go to next – in case you’re wondering about the next opportunity to win the connect-with-CP prize. Both ECCTD 2011 and the 2011 IMEKO IWADC & IEEE ADC Forum have showed up on my radar looking good. Why not check them out?


“All Posts” page and other blog updates

Time to clear the view ...

I just want to highlight a few additions to the blog:

First, I’ve added a fixed page “All Posts“, which you can access directly from the blog menu. It contains a chronological listing of all blog posts to make it easier for new blog readers to catch up and get an overview of what has been treated on the blog, and for existing blog readers to re-scan when looking for particular content. I even find it useful myself.

Secondly, you may have noticed the update to the “Blogroll” in the sidebar: It has now been split into Blogroll, Conferences, and Links.

  • Blogroll is currently empty because I haven’t yet found any other blogs with a clear ADC/DAC focus that is likely to be of broad interest to my readers [please e-mail me at cpassion@admsdesign.com any suggestions you may have]. I still want to mention ADI’s Analog Diablog™ that is the “blog face” of their publication Analog Dialogue. It has a much broader scope than just ADC/DAC, but could be of interest to many of you. Maybe I’ll put it in the blog roll eventually anyway. I also want to mention the blog Mixed-Signal Electronics, which is run by Dr. J. Jacob Wikner. It’s current focus is on serving students at Linköping University with information relevant to their courses and final-year projects, but if you’re using the particular software tools that they are using, there might be a snippet of code or two that could be useful even if you’re not a Linköping student. I can’t fully assess this, so you better check it out for yourself. Regardless, to anyone in a similar teaching role, it can serve as inspiration on how to interact with students in a contemporary way.
  • Conferences will be updated with any upcoming conferences that I believe are of interest to my readers. Particularly those I’m considering to attend myself. The two first additions are 2011 IMEKO IWADC & IEEE ADC Forum, and ECCTD 2011. I’ll get back with some more on those conferences later.
  • Links is any other links of interest. I will work on that section eventually …

Anyone going to ICECS 2010?

I guess it will be inevitable to keep asking my blog readers if you are also going to the conferences I plan to attend, now that I started to do so with NORCHIP. If you’re going to ICECS 2010 in Athens next week, you’re most welcome to connect. As you can see from my NORCHIP travel report it can pay great dividends to respond to the invitation to connect while at the conference. That is, if you’d consider it a ‘great dividend’ to have your name and picture or at least your paper title and name appearing on this blog.

Look for this face once again

Nadeem Afzal and M. Reza Sadeghifar were the clear winners of the connect-with-Converter-Passion race at the NORCHIP conference, and thus got themselves a slightly raised web presence, for whatever that might be worth. All you’ve got to do to have a chance in Athens, is to look for the same face this time. Come and say hello, tell me about your work, what you think about the conference, Greece, the welcome reception or A/D- or D/A-converter research in general, … something like that. Actually it takes much less effort than so – it’s enough to just say hello. You need to be aware that the Linköping University students are all serious about this, and I have good reason to believe that a third student under Dr. J Jacob Wikner’s supervision will make an attempt for the ‘prize’ in Athens. So don’t idle about and let Linköping get all the glory.

If you haven’t found me earlier, the safest bets this time is during the T4L-B Mixed-signal circuits session on Tuesday afternoon, where I will present my contribution “A Survey of A/D-Converter Performance Evolution” [1], or the Wednesday morning session W1L-B Analog-to-Digital Converters II which I will be chairing.

Now, if you are serious about ADC technology you really do not want to miss my survey presentation. I will show the performance evolution over time for A/D-converters extracted from a massive study of well over 1400 scientific papers, from the very first monolithic implementations reported in 1974 all through to March 2010. That’s close to every single paper ever published in the IEEE journals and conferences central to the ADC field. All for you! Past and present ADC trends will be analyzed, and I’ll even venture to predict ADC performance evolution for the next ten years until 2020. If you aren’t coming to ICECS 2010, you should definitely keep an eye out for this paper as it will appear at IEEE Xplore some time after the conference.

See you all in Athens!


[1] B. E. Jonsson, “A survey of A/D-converter performance evolution”, accepted for presentation, IEEE Int. Conf. Electronics Circ. Syst. (ICECS), Athens, Greece, Dec., 2010.

NORCHIP 2010 at a glance

Approximate distribution of topics among NORCHIP 2010 conference contributions.

Taking a quick look at the NORCHIP 2010 conference program it appears that ADC & DAC papers make up around 18% of the population – 21% if you add the two TDC (time-to-digital) contributions. That’s got to be good enough: It means that more than every 5th contribution is directly relevant to me. Couldn’t really ask for more at a conference with such a broad scope.

Another topic that stands out in the program is Network-on-Chip (NoC), which is treated in as much as 22% of the contributions according to titles. Clearly a hot topic! I’m not currently aware that NoC is interesting for me, but that may change if I go to all of those presentations. 😉

RF/Analog papers make up around 28% of the contributions, and that’s a more relevant topic for me than NoC. The pie chart shows the approximate distribution over different topics. The “other” slice represents presentations on 3D integrated circuits and mostly digital stuff. I don’t know if it was a goal, but as you can see the organizing committee did an excellent job in dividing the space almost perfectly into 50% RF/analog + mixed, and 50% digital + 3D-IC.

The total number of contributions is 71, distributed over 40 oral presentations (4 invited) and 31 posters.

One that I’m curious about is the invited talk “Mixed-Signal versus Purely-Digital Self-Calibration of High-Resolution Pipeline A/D Converters” by professor João Goes from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Having worked quite a lot with ADC calibration myself (e.g., this patent), his talk is exactly my cup of tea, and it will be very interesting to hear his findings.

Finally, don’t forget to say hello, if you are attending the conference … With a bit of luck, you may find yourself and your work featured in a future blog post.