During September 3-6, the leading conference on integrated circuits ESSCIRC 2018 was held in Dresden, Germany. More than 100 excellent papers from all over the world were presented in this conference, and two papers among them were from our Phoenix team:
- Haoming Xin, Martin Andraud, Peter Baltus, Eugenio Cantatore, Pieter Harpe, “A 0.1nW-1uW All-Dynamic Capacitance-to-Digital Converter with Power/Speed/Capacitance Scalability,” ESSCIRC 2018.
- Jaro De Roose, Haoming Xin, Martin Andraud, Pieter Harpe, Marian Verhelst, “Flexible and Self-Adaptive Sense-and-Compress for Sub-Microwatt Always-on Sensory Recording,” ESSCIRC 2018.
Ultra-low power environmental sensing is a key aspect of Phoenix, as only a limited energy resource is available. Moreover, multiple parameters need to be measured for an unknown environment, so a low power versatile sensor interface is important. Capacitive sensors are great candidates for environmental sensing, as they can be used for monitoring many physical parameters such as pressure, acceleration, humidity, etc.
Therefore, paper 1) above presents an ultra-low power versatile capacitive sensor interface. Thanks to the high versatility, this capacitive sensor interface can deal with a wide variety of capacitive sensors with inherent power scaling. A reported lowest power consumption of only 0.1nW is achieved, which can greatly extend the battery lifetime. On top of this, it also achieves the state-of-the-art power efficiency, such that more information can be obtained with a minimum power consumption. For example, by connecting a MEMS pressure sensor, this chip can measure environmental pressure with only 0.8nW at a speed of 100S/s.