Data and Power Conversion Innovation Center (DPIC)

The main objective of this center is to focus on innovative research and development of high-performance data conversion and signal processing analog front-ends ICs and integrated power ICs including:

  • Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs)
  • Video/ Audio Codecs
  • Power converters
  • Data conversion interface for wireless and wireline communication
  • Signal processing analog frontends for sensors and autonomous systems
  • High efficiency, wide input range, wide load current range, and fast response power management DC-DC converters, low dropout regulators, etc.

Data Conversion and Signal Processing

The main objective of the research line is focus on innovations on high-performance data conversion and signal processing analog ICs, including those covering the most emerging applications e.g. 4G LTE, LTE-A, Ultra Low Power IoT devices, wideband (wirelined- or optical communication),etc. The following lists the key research interests:

  • Power efficient data converters for portable and autonomous IoT system. The projects are based on the dynamic based circuits, like inverters, comparators, successive approximation register (SAR), binary search ADC etc. to achieve very low power consumption data converter implementation.
  • Digitally-assisted / calibrated high resolution CMOS data converters for high quality video, cellular and data acquisition front-ends. This projects study the innovation that relies on the advanced scaling nanometer CMOS technology that bring the strong processing power of digital circuits, to assist the detection and calibration of the various analog circuit non-idealities like offset/gain errors, nonlinearity, various mismatch among different channels, etc.
  • Oversampling noise-shaped sigma-delta converter for wireless applications. This project concentrates on the innovation techniques improving the noise-shaping performance in the discrete-time and continuous-time sigma-modulator modulator.
  • Ultra wide bandwidth data converters for optical communications. This project investigates different techniques to extend the bandwidth physical limits in the data converter. The possible direction includes the interleaving with calibration or compensation of various mismatches, and utilize the time-based converters to take advantages of technology scaling.
  • Application of data converters in various electronics application including sensors, power converters and navigation systems. This project focused more on the application aspect of the data converters. Current projects include the design of sensing interface for power electronics converters, and an accelerometer/velocity meter/position meter sensing analogsigma-delta front-end interface for navigation systems.

Integrated Power

The research directions are:

  • Integrated power electronics controller design: The integrated power electronics controller can significantly improve the power electronics system performances and is easy to be implemented by others (without knowledge and save programming time)compared with conventional DSP controller. Moreover, the integrated power electronics controller is possible to replace the digital controller in the power compensator products. This research work focuses on programmable gain signal conditioning circuit, analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion, and pulse-width-modulation (PWM) generator. Up to now, there is no such three-phase power electronics controller IC in the market.
  • Power management IC design: Fully-integrated high efficiency, wide input range, wide load current range, small output ripple, and fast transient response power management circuits, including inductor-based and switched-capacitor DC-DC converters, low dropout regulators, etc. are of great interest.
  • Wireless power transfer: Wireless power transfer (WPT) has a wide range of applications including (arranged from low to high power levels) radio frequency identification (RFID), internet-of-things (IoT), implantable medical devices (IMDs), real-time wireless power for non-contact memory devices and wafer-level testing, and also wireless chargers for portable/wearable devices and electric vehicles (EVs). It is evident that the utilization of WPT technologies is on the critical point of exponential Growth.

The research line aimed at the investigation of the advantages of using microelectronics through signal processing and intelligence in order to improve the performance of energy processing power electronics systems, which is related with software control and hardware IC implementation. Power management and wireless power transfer are our research focuses.