Emerging Technologies and Applications research projects

Current projects

Large-area smart pressure-sensors on foil (Smart-press)
DurationStart 1-10-2014, End 30-09-2018
PhD studentCarmine Garripoli
SupervisorEugenio Cantatore
DescriptionSmart-press focuses on sensing systems built by hybrid integration of sensor foils, TFT circuits on foil for early processing of the sensor data, and a small number of silicon ICs for final data processing and communication. This approach combines the strongest points of each technology and promises to enable inexpensive, large and high-performance flexible sensing surfaces like biopetential measurement matrices, pressure sensors and X-ray imagers.
Advanced high-resolution printing of organic Transistors for Large Area Smart Surfaces (ATLASS)
SponsorEU Horizon 2020
DurationStart 15-3-2015, End 14-03-2019
PhD studentMarco Fattori
SupervisorEugenio Cantatore
DescriptionATLASS develops a new generation of printed electronics on flexible substrate with self-aligned and short-channel TFT architecture, to optimize transistor performance. The new printed TFTs will be used to develop novel applications of flexible electronics including piezoelectric and pyroelectric sensors surfaces, sensor-augmented RFIDs and intelligent display tags.
Integrated Circuits for Conformal Wearable Systems
SponsorIMEC-NL / Holst Centre
DurationStart 19-10-2015, End 18-10-2019
PhD studentMohammad Zulqarnain
SupervisorEugenio Cantatore
DescriptionWearable electronics is increasing entering into our daily lives. Even though these devices are wearable and being used by several people today, they are still uncomfortable. The rigid and boxy nature of electronics prevents devices to conform to the human body and the presence of large battery limits the lifetime of the device creating inconvenience.
This research will investigate new circuit architectures and design methodologies to come up with an integrated circuit design opening up possibilities to low-power and conformal electronics for wearable systems. This research will make use of CMOS integrated circuits and Organic/Metal-Oxide transistors to come up with new hybrid circuit architectures that can achieve the accuracy of CMOS transistors and flexibility of organic transistors.
The research will focus on the challenges in integrated circuit design and partitioning of the whole system between flexible and integrated circuits.
Multi-megahertz hybrid capacitive/inductive power converters for smart integrated LED drivers (Mega-LED)
DurationStart 4-1-2014, End 3-1-2018
PhD studentJuan Camilo Castellanos Rodrigues
SupervisorEugenio Cantatore
DescriptionMega-LED investigates power converter circuits optimized to drive LEDs that are fully integrated using System in Package (SiP) techniques and exploit multi-megahertz switching frequencies to minimize the size of the passives. Combining switched capacitor and inductive power conversion concepts in an approach that we call “hybrid”, we aim at reaching maximum power density and efficiency over a broad output voltage range.
Reliable, low latency wireless links for autonomous shock absorbers (3CCAR)
DurationStart 15-03-2016, End 14-03-2020
PhD studentCarlos Mendes da Costa Junior
SupervisorHao Gao
DescriptionAutonomous shock absorbers can recover the energy for their operation from the movement of the shock absorber. The control algorithms of the shock absorber can also be implemented locally with the shock absorber, eliminating the need for energy or information exchange between the shock absorber and the car itself.
However, there is still a need to align the settings of the individual shock absorbers, so a communication path needs to be established. To ensure flexibility and reduce cost, this communication should preferably be wireless. Therefore, this work focus on developing a low-power, reliable and low latency wireless link for autonomous shock absorbers.
EMC-robust Design of Automotive IC Products and Applications
DurationStart 1-11-2014, End 31-10-2018
PhD studentLammert Duipmans
SupervisorDusan Milosevic
DescriptionThe objective of this project is to develop a systematic and fundamental approach to identify and avoid all possible EMC problems at design time. The focus will be on on-chip coupling and interference. Both emission and immunity of the chip have to be taken into account. Designing for low emission means maximum control over the output waveform. Better immunity means that the circuit should operate in the presence of very large EM disturbance. This can be achieved by making sure disturbances are kept away from sensitive nodes or designing circuits that are less sensitive to such disturbances.
Integral Measures from IC to System Design, to meet PI, SI and EMC requirements
DurationStart 01-02-2004, End 
PostdocMart Coenen
SupervisorArthur van Roermund

The aim of this research is to derive a complementary set of PI, SI and EMC design constraints at the various subsystem levels, from IC to the overall system design, to meet the overall compliance requirements. To attain control over developments of complex systems, systems have to be subdivided into manageable subsystems. Clear boundary constraints are necessary to make this possible. At each boundary level these constraints must be set and means and methods to enable PI, SI and EMC verifications are required to check if the design constraints as set are satisfied. Verification preferably needs to become based on internationally accepted and agreed measurement methods, test levels and limits, to ensure a common understanding and to enable (black box) outsourcing.

The motivation is on supporting the development of modular designs in which each of the subsystems or parts thereof can be easily exchanged i.e. become modular. Deriving this set of design constraints is further challenged if we have to start from existing applications: re-use of existing subsystems like active sensors, actuators, PCBs, etc. for which interconnectivity is given as a fact. The functional as well as the PI, SI and EMC constraints have to be guaranteed by the boundary constraints at the subsystem level to avoid the need for re-testing and re-qualification at the system level. As such, modular or OEM designed subsystems can be easier replaced by (better) alternatives and end-of-life (EoL) issues with critical components can be dealt with at the subsystem design level at less development effort.

Modules can be (parts of) subsystems, but not all subsystems are modules. What would make a subsystem a module is the exchangeability and interchangeability i.e. modularity which will result in multi-source commercially-of-the-shelf (COTS) modules suited to be used in various system applications without any adaptation to the design of the module. Deriving the least common multiple requirements from various subsystems enables the definition of unifiable measures necessary in a husk between a module and a subsystem. The aim is to derive additional constraints to extend the module specifications such that, within the economical bounds for the module upgrade, a minimized dedicated husk will become necessary before it can be used as a subsystem.