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The Cadence academic network was launched in 2007 by Cadence Europe. The aim was to promote the proliferation of leading-edge technologies and methodologies at universities renowned for their engineering and design excellence. A knowledge network among selected European universities, research institutes, industry advisors and Cadence was established to facilitate the sharing of technology expertise in the areas of verification, design and implementation of microelectronic systems.
The Institute for Electronics Engineering is a member of the Cadence Academic Network since 2008. Cadence’s Custom IC design and verification tools are used in multiple courses and labs, most prominently the analog design flow (Virtuoso Schematic Editor, Virtuoso Analog Design Environment, Virtuoso Layout Suite, Virtuoso Spectre Circuit Simulator, Cadence QRC Extraction).
The Institute for Electronics Engineering uses Cadence EDA tools for the following courses and accompanying labs:
The course Analog-to-Digital- und Digital-to-Analog-Converters is accompanyied by labs that are supposed to deepen the contents of the lecture through practical examples. The labs' objective is the step-by-step assembly of an integrated SAR-converter. The design will use a 180nm analog-IC process. The labs will use the market leading Cadence software tools for analog-IC design.
The following sub-circuits will be designed:
To conclude the lab, the respective sub-circuits are put together to form a complete analog-to-digital-converter.
The lecture Integrated Circuits for Wireless Communication Applications provides an overview of several standards for mobile communication, transceiver and receiver concepts and software-defined radio. The main subject matter of this course are the building blocks of most transceiver and receiver: low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, mixers, oscillators and synthesizers.
The corresponding labs provide the student with hands-on experience of schematic level design and circuit simulation using Cadence analog-IC design tools. Amongst others the labs include the following exercises:
The labs for the course Analog IC Signal Conditioning cover several circuits in more depth. The student will get a specification. According to that specification a low-dropout voltage regulator need to be implemented. The design will use a 180nm analog-IC process. The labs will use the market leading Cadence software tools for analog-IC design.
The exercise can be split into three main parts/circuits:
If you have further questions concerning any of the lectures mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Ußmüller
Our extensive research activities in our Circuit Design and RF Integrated Sensors workgroups make intensive use of the Cadence EDA tools. Analog, Mixed-Signal and Digital design flows are employed in the following projects at our institute:
The objective of ENIAC-MAS is to develop a common communication platform and nanoelectronics circuits for health and wellness applications to support the development of flexible, robust, safe and inexpensive mobile AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) systems, to improve the quality of human life and improve the well-being of people. In this context, reference architectures will be defined in order to enable system development from devices to complete mobile AAL systems, and to enable cooperative clusters of such systems for specific environments and applications. MAS focus on the development of an integrated approach for the areas of health monitoring and therapy support at home, and mobile health, wellness and fitness. The systems are intended for remote patient supervision using multi parameter biosensors and secure communication networks, and health & wellness monitoring in the home environment.
Project HaLoS, launched in the priority programme SPP1202 UKoLoS (http://www-emt.tu-ilmenau.de/ukolos/) investigates a novel m-sequence radar technique for use with ultra wideband signals. The goals of project HaLoS are the integration of key components (LNA, PA, ADC/DAC, etc.) in SiGe BiCMOS technology and the assessment of the viability of the proposed system concept in comparison to already existing UWB concepts. Measures include bandwidth, sensitivity, interference resistance, long-time stability, number of channels, large-signal handling capacity and measurement speed.
Wireless infrastructure has been rapidly taking over as the cornerstone of modern communication means in the past two decades. One can now recognize the importance of GPS systems, WLAN and most importantly cellular systems (GSM, CDMA, W-CDMA, etc.) and how they have been entrenched in everyday life. Moreover, due to the technical advance in IC fabrication, it has been possible to integrate more and more functionalities into a single chip.
This is giving rise to smaller multi-purpose wireless devices which are cheaper due to mass production. However, a bottleneck to finally combining all the RF-transceiver's front-end circuits lies in the power amplifier (PA). The PA is a circuit which precedes the antenna in the transmitter chain and has to deliver power levels of 1 to 2 Watt with high efficiency for cellular systems. The main focus of this research is to implement a highly-efficient PA with high-linearity in order to transmit modern modulated signals such as QPSK and QAM e.g. for the LTE standard.
The Project HiProT (Highly Integrated Data Acquisition for Production Technology) aims to develop the next generation of SAR ADCs by reducing the power consumption by 95% and reducing the area consumption by 65% compared to state-of-the art SAR ADCs. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to investigate improved circuit techniques and digital trimming.
The ambition of project LokProd3D is to investigate and evaluate novel methods for simultaneously measuring angle and distance for wireless sensors. One part of the project involves the integration of synthesizers for the 5 to 8 GHz range and all analog circuits necessary for the implementation of the measuring method into a single chip.
Project LOWILO is assigned with the task to develop a low power sensor network. The sensor's primary features include minimal volume, minimal power consumption and the ability to gather physical, chemical and biological quantities. Additionally, each sensor node has the ability to determine the location of other sensor nodes by using its integrated 24 GHz radar. The necessary frequency synthesizer and various other analog and mixed-signal components are developed. Additionally a long and especially power efficient FFT is designed using the Cadence digital workflow.
The project PFM-USR aims to investigate components and concepts for pulsed frequency modulated ultra wideband secondary radar systems. Novel ultra wideband systems, which are inherently suited for monolithic integration, are developed. The concept of pulsed linear or stepped frequency modulation (PFM) is put forward as an alternative to common pulsed UWB approaches. The introduction of the novel PFM UWB concept requires sophisticated system and concept design to permit a comparison to already established concepts.
As passive RFID-system become more and more widely used, project RFID-S has taken on the endeavour to increase the functionality of passive RFID-tags. For a passive RFID-tag minimal power consumption is paramount. Normal passive tags shall be enhanced by three functions: support for multiple standards, locating and sensor functionality. In order to enable low priced high volume production, the complete RFID-functionality is integrated into a single CMOS-Chip.
Safety-related driver assistance systems are an important part of innovative vehicle concepts. Such systems, which guarantee increased safety for all road users - from car occupants to pedestrians - enable features such as lane departure warning, night vision support or automatic emergency brake. RoCC (Radar on Chip for Cars) addresses such systems through the development and deployment of radar sensors as key components for driver assistance systems. The focus of RoCC can be described as "Security for All", targeted through the development of compact, highly efficient and cost effective radar sensors in the car, driven with the aim to offer all road users increased road safety at affordable prices.
The project "Smart Sensors C" is part of the “Medical Valley”, a Center of Excellence in Medical Technology founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the metropolitan region Nuremberg. The project aims to investigate a multifunctional chip which is supposed to be the basis of a standardized communication platform, suitable for a mass market.
In the project SOS122, the Institute for Electronics Engineering is working with IHP to study novel circuits and applications for integrated mm-wave six-port structures on silicon technology. A communication receiver is targeted at 122 GHz and several reflectometers for vector network analysis at 61, 122 and 240 GHz will be designed.
If you have further questions concerning the projects mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact the leader of the Circuit Design workgroup Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Ußmüller or the leader of the RF Integrated Sensors workgroup Dipl.-Ing. Dietmar Kissinger.