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Imec Set to Take Transistors 'sub-Threshold'

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IMEC wants to use silicon transistors in the sub-threshold region as a way to achieve ultra-low power operation, and envisions a future system-on-a-chip (SoC) for biomedical applications having blocks designed at 0.2 or 0.3 volts. IMEC will develop a short range RF transceiver that will be 10 times more power-efficient than today's Bluetooth and Zigbee chips.

View a video of IMEC general manager Bert Gyselinckx describing the development and performance of the power-efficient RF transceiver.

IMEC also is developing three generations of biomedical processors, which includes last year's work involving the BioDSP.

This year IMEC is working on the BioFlux, which offers more programming flexibility, and next year a team will pursue a SoC fully optimized for ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements through advanced motion artifact removal.

"Because of the very low active time in ECG processing, leakage energy is dominant in our BioDSP and BioFlux designs—both in 90-nm CMOS," says IMEC's Harmke De Groot. "The ultralow power and high dynamic range needed for the analog components was the initial trigger to use 180-nanometer [lithography] and the analog components are designed at standard Vdd."

From EE Times
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