I3A - Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón

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GDEGroup of Electronic Design
http://gde.unizar.es
The Group of Electronic Design (GDE) is one of the research groups of the Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A) that has been registered as “Grupo Consolidado de Investigación” (Quality Research Group) by the Regional Government of Aragón. Its members carry out research activities focused on the design of high performance analogue and mixed signal ASICs in CMOS and emerging technologies, predominantly on parametric and ubiquity cells for telecommunication systems, wireless sensor networks and intelligent electronic instrumentation. They are involved in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates at the Science Faculty and the School of Engineering and Architecture (EINA). The members of the group also collaborate in many activities, including scientific conferences, summer courses and seminars. Further, GDE is also heavily involved in promoting collaborations and coordinated projects with industries, other research groups and national and international networks. At present, the group is formed by 7 doctors attached to the University of Zaragoza, 6 external doctors, 7 Ph.D. students and 1 technician to support research.

Research Lines

Industrial Technologies

Mixed-signal ASIC Design for Wideband Communications
This research line is focused on the design of high performance analogue and mixed signal ASICs, emphasizing on telecommunication systems. The contributions can be grouped into three different...
This research line is focused on the design of high performance analogue and mixed signal ASICs, emphasizing on telecommunication systems. The contributions can be grouped into three different domains: (1) modeling and characterization of passive and active cells, (2) implementation of highly-linear continuous-time baseband signal processing systems and (3) implementation of very high frequency filtering and amplification front-end systems, satisfying the diverse mobile communication standards (TETRA, GSM/GPRS, Low-Rate WPAN…) and cable standards (Gigabit Ethernet, 10GBase-LX4 Ethernet,..), as well as their possible demanded variations.

 

High Performance Analogue Integrated Circuits in Emerging
A technological alternative to standard digital submicron CMOS processes that is raising a significant interest is the Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) CMOS process, owing to the benefits gained...
A technological alternative to standard digital submicron CMOS processes that is raising a significant interest is the Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) CMOS process, owing to the benefits gained compared to the utilization of standard CMOS in terms of frequency performance, power consumption and precision, particularly working at low power supply voltages. Some predictions estimate that this technology can reach about 50 % of the silicon market quote in 10 years. Another very interesting technological alternative is the SiGe technology, especially the BiCMOS processes, as they combine the excellent performances of the bipolar technologies, further enhanced by using SiGe, with the CMOS design advantages.

 

Wireless Sensor Networks and Mixed-Signal ASIC Design for WSN Interfaces targeting Ambient Intelligence Applications
WSNs are, at present, a hotspot with a clear global growth and an ever increasing range of innovative applications. The design, implementation and operation of a network of sensor nodes requires...
WSNs are, at present, a hotspot with a clear global growth and an ever increasing range of innovative applications. The design, implementation and operation of a network of sensor nodes requires the convergence of many disciplines, such as multisensor interface design, low power architectures, signal processing, networks and protocols, embedded systems, information management and distributed algorithms. The research lines related with this field are the development and applications of complete WSNs, focused on the area of Ambient Intelligence, and the design of ASIC circuits for the acquisition and conditioning of the output signals from the sensors of the nodes that make up the wireless network before to be processed by microcontroller-based systems.

 

Key Projects

Industrial Technologies

Adaptive Coprocessor for the Development of Smart Sensors in Low Power Systems

The main goal of this project is to explore and apply techniques of mixed signal processing to the design of the basic blocks required in the development of an analogue programmable coprocessor...

The main goal of this project is to explore and apply techniques of mixed signal processing to the design of the basic blocks required in the development of an analogue programmable coprocessor for low-cost sensors interfacing. This interface adapts the sensor’s output values to the standard logic levels of microcontroller-driven battery-operated devices.

Design Methodology of CMOS Continuous-Time Adaptive Equalizers for High-Speed Serial Communications

The objective of this project is the design and fabrication of continuous-time adaptive equalization architectures for applications in serial high-speed communications using a nanometer...

The objective of this project is the design and fabrication of continuous-time adaptive equalization architectures for applications in serial high-speed communications using a nanometer technological process. The obtained results could anticipate and solve problems in the electronics associated to serial multi-gigabit communication rates and transfer on time these results to the interested companies for their exploitation.

Design Strategies of Reconfigurable Microelectronic Interfaces for Ciber-Physical Systems

Wireless communications, together with the development of integrated sensors and actuators, and mobile devices, have led to the emergence of the new ubiquitous computing paradigm that allows...

Wireless communications, together with the development of integrated sensors and actuators, and mobile devices, have led to the emergence of the new ubiquitous computing paradigm that allows monitoring parameters, as well as access to computing and communications services in any time and place. Using such ubiquitous infrastructure, consisting of a variety of local and global networks, both users, sensors, devices, systems and applications interact with each other and with the physical world. The combination of physical processes and systems with monitoring systems and network computing that have been called cyber-physical systems (CPS), facilitates their mutual interaction, adding ground-breaking capabilities to physical systems.

Key Technologies

Industrial Technologies

Design strategies, implementation and test of ASIC in nano-CMOS technologies
Currently, the group is working in design strategies, implantation and test of front-end ASIC transceivers applied to wideband communication systems and especially short range serial...
Currently, the group is working in design strategies, implantation and test of front-end ASIC transceivers applied to wideband communication systems and especially short range serial multigigabit communications, and reconfigurable smart sensor-to-microcontroller ASIC circuits satisfying digital CMOS compatibility, LV, LP, temperature and supply independence, plug&play capability.
 
Development of complete WSN systems
The group works in the exploration, characterization and selection of the different types of low-cost sensors and different microcontroller architectures (and their programming and resource...
The group works in the exploration, characterization and selection of the different types of low-cost sensors and different microcontroller architectures (and their programming and resource management for efficient energy handling) for developing a complete wireless sensor network (WSN) system. The actual target application is the Ambient Intelligence: precision agriculture, prevention, early detection and monitoring of forest fires, detection of diffuse emission of greenhouse gases, etc.

Services

Industrial Technologies

Electronic instrumentation: signal conditioning and processing, and computer controlled instrumentation
Basic and advanced courses on microelectronic design and intelligent instrumentation techniques
Characterization and test of electronic circuits
Design of analog and mixed application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)
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