Current Research Projects

FWF - Robust IC - Studies of robustness of analog integrated circuits
Analog integrated circuits (IC) are the subject of research in many areas such as energy efficiency, low noise sensor interfaces or high speed signal processing and transmission. The common feature required in all these domains is the robustness; robustness against any kind interferences. Whatever the purpose of the circuit, it must maintain its desired operation under real-world conditions. However typically in the target system, with many other surrounding active elements, there are additional external disturbances (high energy transient pulses, radio-frequency interference and radiation). These disturbances are usually not addressed during the design and simulation phase of the circuit, and often not even tested in an experimental evaluation test setup once the first prototype is available. A sufficient immunity to these effects is especially important in case of e.g. automotive and medical applications, where malfunction of an IC might become a real question of personal safety. However, the continuous demand for very large scale integration electronics, reduced spacing between components on the printed circuit board (PCB), lower supply voltages of the IC and increasing operating speed make it more challenging to build systems immune to external interferences. The objective of this research project is to find new methods and techniques to improve the current state of analog IC design: starting on the IC block-level with dedicated design techniques and robustness-oriented simulations, through physical layout of test-ICs and finally also focusing on the PCB-level placement and selection of components. In the first phase of the project the sources of potential disturbances will be identified, such as: external radio-frequency interference (RFI), transient pulses e.g. electrostatic discharge (ESD) and bursts, radiation sources and their intensity, internal interferences in a mixed-signal circuit. These disturbances may enter the circuit indirectly e.g. through connected cables or signal loops on the PCB acting as potential antennas for noise, or they can occur as a slow damage or degradation in case of radiation. The challenge of this project phase is to translate their influence onto an equivalent circuit-level disturbance model. The next step is to simulate the effects of the modeled disturbances and to accordingly modify the electronic circuit to maintain the desired functionality while improving immunity to the potential hazards. Finally, once selected test-ICs are fabricated and placed on a carefully optimized PCB, experimental comparison with the simulations is envisaged. The principal goals for the project are: understanding the influence of external and internal interferences in basic analog building blocks and defining design guidelines for robust analog IC as well as PCB design to ensure first time right designs of integrated circuit and final electronic applications.
Funding sources
  • Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, FWF
Start: 04.05.2015
FPES2020 - Future of Power Electronic Systems 2020
This project represents the consistent continuation to our activities for energy-efficient and extremely compact power electronic energy conversion systems. The integration of widebandgap (WBG) semiconductor technologies, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), will allow significantly higher switching frequencies at the same or slightly better energy efficiency. The use of these new semiconductor technologies in electrical circuits with an increase of the switching frequency by a factor >10 demands a new methodical approach – the holistic conceptual scheme. This project aims for industrial research of the holistic conceptual scheme as well as SiCand GaN-based demonstrators in order to evaluate the complied concepts.
Funding sources
  • Infineon Technologies Austria AG
  • Fronius International GmbH
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH , FFG
External Partners
  • Kompetenzzentrum Automobil- und Industrieelektronik GmbH, KAI
Start: 01.05.2015
Cotomics - Computed Tomography IC with high Radiation immunity
This project deals with the analysis and development of circuits, that have a high immunity against radiation. Structures and devices will be analyzed, evaluated and improved. New circuit topologies with a high robustness will be developed.
Funding sources
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH , FFG
  • ams (austriamicrosystems AG)
Start: 01.02.2015
EM2APS - EM2APS - Enhanced Materials, Methods & Applications for Power Devises & Systems
The aim of the project is the development and verification of optimized integrated circuit concepts of various actuators for electric drives / motors, power distribution and load and harness fuse for future electrical systems in the automotive industry as well as industrial applications. The research activities provide amongst other things the concept evaluation, design and verification of driver stages for power transistors and circuits for extremely accurate current and voltage measurements. An essential part is the optimization of the performances of integrated circuits regarding their electromagnetic interference as well as the reduction of electromagnetic emission.
Funding sources
  • Infineon Technologies Austria AG
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH , FFG
Start: 01.10.2014
LEAD - LEAD-Low Emission Analog Design
The aim of this research project is the development of methods for the simulation and estimation of electromagnetic interference. These methods are to be used at a particularly challenging function block, a class-D amplifier, which is a prerequisite for innovative competitive developments. The goal is to develop products with an even shorter development time and "first time right”. The key to this approach lies in an extensive simulation in the design and concept phase and the implementation of universal system concepts, which directly lead to a competitive advantage.
Funding sources
  • ams (austriamicrosystems AG)
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH , FFG
Start: 01.08.2014
EU - NanoCaTe - Nano-carbons for versatile power supply modules
The multidisciplinary consortium of the NanoCaTe Project will develop a more efficient thermoelectric- and storage material based on nanocarbon (e.g. graphene and CNT) to reclaim waste heat by thermoelectric Generators and to storage the energy in super capacitors or secondary batteries for manifold applications like pulsed sensors or mobile electronic devices.
Funding sources
  • European Commission - Europäische Kommission, EU
External Partners
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Aalborg Universitet
  • VTT - Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
Start: 01.10.2013