ECE@NUS
ECE@NUS

Integrated Circuits & Embedded Systems

Integrated Circuits & Embedded Systems

Integrated Circuits & Embedded Systems


The Integrated Circuit and Embedded System (ICES) group involves the following research areas: analog/RF, digital and mixed-signal integrated circuit (IC) design, MEMS, and embedded systems. Regarding IC design, we pursue continuous architectural and circuit innovation for advanced sensor interfaces, transceivers, digital processing and power management with performance and energy/power efficiency that are beyond the state of the art. Our research aims to enable new applications, and involves the demonstration of novel integrated systems for biomedical applications and nodes for the Internet of Things with extreme miniaturization and long lifetime, as few examples.
As we push the boundaries of integrated circuit/system technologies, we currently hold several records worldwide in all above areas and we lead the related state of the art. As few examples, in the analog/RF and mixed-signal IC design area, we demonstrated the first 450-nW biomedical sensor interface, a 17-pJ/bit transmitter and UWB beamformer with 1-phase resolution, the first integrated circuit demonstration of wearable ECG plaster, bionic neural link prototype, and wireless endoscopy. In the digital domain, we have demonstrated the first microcontroller with uninterrupted operation even when the battery runs out of energy, being able to operate both with battery at best-in-class energy, as well as without battery with sub-nW power consumption (as powered by a tiny on-chip solar cell). In processing for computer vision, we have demonstrated the first sub-mW feature extractor for IoT smart imagers (200uW, 20X lower than prior art). In the hardware security domain, we demonstrated various Physically Unclonable Functions that set the state of the art in terms of energy and security (ISSCC 2015, ASSCC 2017), the AES crypto-core with lowest energy with only 0.1 mW consumption at 100 kbps. We have also showed the first SRAM memory with scalable energy-quality tradeoff for ultra-low energy operation (ISSCC 2014), the smallest ADC Analog-to-Digital converter with widely scalable energy/resolution/voltage (ASSCC 2013), the fastest/most energy-efficient pulsed latch (ISSCC 2012), the first reconfigurable clock network (ISSCC 2017) and reconfigurable microarchitectures (JSSC 2017) for wide voltage scaling. As for MEMS, our research on MEMS sensor and MEMS-based circuit design spurred ultra-high Q resonators, MEMS based oscillator and MEMS accelerometer with CMOS readout circuit, achieving 0.4µg bias instability. As for embedded system, our focus is on efficient and fault tolerant embedded system with low power consumption and design cost. Various automated tool-flows to raise the abstraction level have been demonstrated. One such tool is MAMPS which can generate multiprocessor architectures for FPGA within seconds.


 
 

Research Focus



Internet of Things


The research of the Internet of Things (IoT) group is focused on the design of integrated circuits (“silicon chips”) with ultra-low power consumption. This aims to enable the next generations of IoT devices with ultra-long battery lifetime and extreme miniaturization, for ubiquitous sensing and processing. Holding several worldwide records, our groups constantly demonstrate advances in the power consumption of digital, analog, radio frequency and power management circuits, as well as integrated systems for a wide range of sensing applications (e.g., environmental monitoring, motion sensing, vision, speech).

Biomedical


The research of the Biomedical group is focused on the design of integrated circuits and systems for health care for several purposes. For example, flexible and band-aid sensors with on-chip machine learning are investigated and demonstrated to enable “patient-specific” disease detection/suppression. Our research enables ultrasound mobile imaging at the micro-scale through pMUT-based integrated systems. Ingestible miniaturized electronic systems are also investigated for little-intrusive and accurate endoscopy. Our research also involves advanced implantable interfaces for peripheral nerve prostheses, vital sign monitoring and low-energy wireless transceivers.

Wearables


The research of the wearables group is centred on the design of electronic systems that are naturally wearable, body-compatible and aesthetic. System integration on wearable platforms based on clothing, textile and polymer gel are investigated to replace conventional circuit boards. The wearables group also focuses on Body Area Networks (BAN) with Body Coupled Communications (BCC) to solve the fundamental limitation of radiofrequency communication on the human body, turning the human body itself into a communication medium for improved energy efficiency.

Hardware security


The research of the hardware security group is centred on advancing the state of the art of cybersecurity through innovation at the hardware and silicon chip level. The group regularly demonstrates novel techniques that enable cybersecurity everywhere and continuously, thanks to circuits and architectures that are very low power, inexpensive (i.e., small silicon area), and designed in a fully automated manner. As a few examples, our research on ultra-low energy cryptographic engines and trustworthy Physically Unclonable Functions (“silicon fingerprint”) has led to several demonstrations of security primitives with lowest energy and best statistical quality for chip authentication.

 

Massimo Bruno ALIOTO

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Area Director (Integrated Circuits & Embedded Systems)

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 E4-05-24

 +65 6516 2126

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Ultra-low power VLSI circuits, self-powered and wireless nodes, near-threshold circuits for green computing, error-aware and widely energy-scalable VLSI circuits, circuit techniques for emerging technologies.

HENG Chun Huat

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Associate Head (Undergraduate Programmes)

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 E2-03-27

 +65 6516 1628

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RF CMOS IC design for digital/analog communication Mixed signal IC design VLSI implementation of DSP circuits

Rajesh C PANICKER

LECTURER

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 E2-03-25

 +65 6516 5253

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Biomedical circuits and systems, embedded systems, signal processing and pattern recognition

Nitish Vyomesh THAKOR

PROFESSOR
Provost's Chair Professor Director, Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (SINAPSE)

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 E4 08-17

 +65 6516 2114

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Basic and applied research on Medical Instrumentation, Micro and Nanotechnology and Signal Processing with focus on Neuroengineering.

XU Yong-Ping

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

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 E4-08-03

 +65 6516 6710

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Analog, mixed-signal and RF integrated circuits and systems Sensor and MEMS interface circuits, and integrated MEMS

Jerald YOO

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

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 E5-03-09

 +65 6516 4609

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Low-noise & low-energy circuits for biomedical applications, flexible circuit board platform, Body Area Network, ASIC for piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (pMUT), and System-on-Chip (SoC) design to system realization for wearable healthcare applications