In the past 15 years, DSP Valley has developed a cluster of fabless semiconductors companies and micro/nano-electronics design houses, strongly partnered together through joint development projects. These DSP Valley cluster members offer world class micro/nano-electronics technologies, e.g. in ultra-low power; in digital, analog and mixed signal processing; and imaging sensors. Based on the available key enabling technology in energy efficient ultra-low power nano-electronics, the development of hearing implants by Cochlear, developed into a real success story. Nowadays, DSP Valley is looking for new opportunities for smart health applications, again enabled by these energy efficient nano-electronics. Therefore, DSP Valley is setting up a regional smart specialization strategy in “Nanotechnologies for Health” (N4H). Where DSP Valley (rebranded to the cluster for Developing Smart Products) is responsible for emerging applications enabled by nano-electronics, the partner cluster FlandersBio will develop the biotechnology enabled applications, with emerging applications at the crossroads of both domains. A detailed survey has indicated that the DSP Valley cluster shows excellent strengths for creating new applications in active electronic implants, diagnostics and measurement instruments, e.g. for point-of-care.
Driven by exploding demands for faster data processing, larger storage, and expanding communication in the next few decades, advanced CMOS design and process technologies will be relied upon to deliver the enabling solution. The demands of growing multi-media data traffic have put heavy demands on the network, storage, and compute centers. At the core level of the infrastructure, heat dissipation of high-performance server processor chips is a key limiter. Smart mobile devices like tablets and smart phones form the new connectivity fabric around the cloud computing infrastructure, as they replace desktop and laptop computers as the more prolific user-interface. However, the balance of power and performance is constrained by the battery’s limitations and the need for small form-factor in these devices. Different from the past 40 years of Moore’s law scaling, the emerging smart mobile device applications are re-shaping the technology trends, putting ever more focus on power-efficiency and cost. The new emphasis stimulates innovative co-operation between process and design to deliver an effective system solution. In this presentation, we will review some of these new process technologies on the research horizon, the key considerations of process costs, and how design technology can help us attain the right solution.
One of the most serious challenges facing the exponential performance growth in the information industry is a bandwidth bottleneck in inter-chip interconnects. Optical interconnects with silicon photonics have been expected to solve the problem because of the intrinsic properties of optical signals and the industrial advantages of silicon for use in the electronics industry. We therefore propose a photonics-electronics convergence system with silicon photonics. We examined integration between photonics and electronics and integration between light sources and silicon substrates, and we fabricated a conceptual model of the proposed system based on the results of those examinations. We also investigated the configurations and characteristics of optical components for the silicon optical interposer: silicon optical waveguides, silicon optical splitters, silicon optical modulators, germanium photodetectors, arrayed laser diodes, and spot-size converters. We then demonstrated the feasibility of the system by fabricating a high-density silicon optical interposer by using silicon photonics integrated with these optical components on a single silicon substrate. As a result, we achieved error-free data transmission at 12.5 Gbps and a high bandwidth density of 6.6 Tbps/cm2 with the optical interposer. We think that this technology will solve the bandwidth bottleneck problem.
The Dutch Semiconductor landscape is largely dominated by smaller (SME) companies interspersed with some large companies and knowledge institutes. All together they establish a full value chain within the semiconductor industry generating significant national and export revenues. Holland High Tech / High Tech NL is the cluster representation of this Dutch eco-system. An short overview of the specific capabilities of the Dutch cluster is presented as well as initiatives developed towards the SME to make expensive infrastructures accessible to them. Examples of the collaboration within the Dutch eco-system, including the shared use, by SME, of EDA-tools will be illustrate the Dutch approach.
The worlds growing population needs more light and therefore more energy efficient light. Solid State Lighting is the enabling technology to serve traditional lighting applications (retrofitting) and at the same save energy up to 80%. Additionally, Solid State Lighting is causing a radical transformation of the world wide lighting business. This is because of its digital way of controlling and by the wide spread of novel applications that were unthinkable of with traditional light sources. One can think of lighting controls via smartphone apps.
The presentation will give an overview of the latest developments of nanaoelectronics and embedded systems for electric vehicles (EVs) presenting the electronic components, the architectures, the energy management and subsystems used for the electronics integrated into the vehicles. The talk will describe how electric mobility will influence the developments in automotive industry by integrating the EVs into the Internet of Energy (IoE) and Smart grid infrastructure and how this will result in a need for new semiconductor devices and embedded modules. The EVs are evolving from mere transportation mediums to advanced mobile connectivity “Internet of Things” ecosystem platforms. In this context the ability of the EVs to communicate with utilities and the grid will support the vehicle to grid (V2G) energy transfer and manage demand response.
We will give a brief overview of the energy scaling challenge of CMOS. Then I will describe the advantage of collective spin memory devices in terms of nonvolatility, low switching energy, high speed, high endurance, and scalability. These advantages offer a potential of incorporating nonvolatile spin based memory (e.g., spin transfer torque, STT) with CMOS. We will then present the recent advances and scaling limits of the STT memory as well as new development using the spin Hall Effect to reduce the write current and energy.
To further scale down the switching energy, I will describe a new concept of electric-field control of magnetism, or voltage-controlled magnetoelectric (ME) memory (Me-RAM). Only recently, it is shown to be possible to use electric field to control metallic magnetism. For the latter, we will describe a couple of fundamental mechanisms of voltage control of magnetic moment and direction. With further advances in this area, we anticipate that the energy reduction of several orders of magnitudes beyond that of STT. The integration of magnetic devices will reduce the standby leakage of CMOS circuits and thus enable further scaling of CMOS with improved performance. These types of device may be integrated directly on top of front-end processed CMOS using back-end process. They will enables standalone and imbedded applications, making possible new generations of nonvolatile instant-on electronics and other systems. I will discuss the dynamics of the switching as well as additional physical processes in improving the switching process. A potential new paradigm of instant-on, nonvolatile electronic circuits and nano-systems may emerge.
Branched-chain paraffinic hydrocarbons are the most preferable oils for the liquid transportation fuels. Only two algal species produces this kind of oil. Botryococcus braunii, a colonial green microalga, produces large amounts triterpenic hydrocarbons and excretes most of its hydrocarbons from the cells, retaining of the hydrocarbon within the colonial extracellular matrix. A newly isolated strain BOT-22 accumulates triterpenic hydrocarbon (C34H58) with high purity of more than 90%. Because the strain is mixotrophic, research so far has more than doubled the ultimate level of biomass growth through the addition of organic wastes. A novel strain of heterotrophic alga Aurantiochytrium sp. that accumulated triterpenic hydrocarbon called squalene (C30H50) in very high ratio was isolated from the coast of Japan. The hydrocarbon productivity of the strain is more than ten times higher than that of Botryococcus. We anticipate the use of this strain as the most promising feedstock for the sectors of cosmetics, food, pharmacy and biofuels. However, it is required to determine how organic materials can be cost-effectively obtained. Establishment of an integrated production system of photosynthetic alga Botryococcus and heterotrophic alga Aurantiochytrium is needed to actually increase hydrocarbon production by an order of magnitude.
A group of investigators at Harvard University, Howard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is investigating Quantum Materials that change the rules for electronics, spintronics, and photonics: Atomically Layered Materials - Graphene, Boron Nitride and Molybdenum Disulfide - provide Dirac-conductor, insulator, and semiconductor sheets that are only one atom or molecule thick; Topological Insulators provide topologically protected surface channels for data carried by electron spins; Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) Centers in Diamond provide an atomic memory sites that can each store 1 bit of information on 1 spin at room temperature with an optical input/output channel, and act as an ultrasensitive, high spatial resolution magnetic field sensor. An overview of this research will be presented, with examples from different investigators.