Startup shows dielectric as sensor technique
October 10, 2007 //
ChipSensors Ltd., a Limerick, Ireland-based startup with a pedigree in sensors and mixed-signal CMOS design, has unveiled a technology that it claims will let the surface of an IC sense temperature, humidity, pathogens and certain gases.
Sitting above a conventionally manufactured complex CMOS IC, the embedded-sensor technology may be used to create miniature yet conventional industrial, scientific and medical sensors, with the IC implementing the microcontroller and wireless transmitter to send collected data off-chip.
Central to the technology is the low-k dielectric found in standard submicron CMOS processes. The material's porous nature makes it possible to change its dielectric constant by selectively admitting or blocking ingress of the agent to be sensed, thereby forming the basis of a capacitive sensor.
Normally, the surface of an IC is passivated, so ambient conditions don't affect it. Similarly, the pores of low-k materials are often closed using surface treatment. But ChipSensors claims that exposing a prepared area to ambient conditions allows the resulting electrical characteristics to be detected and measured by means of on-chip circuitry.
Challenging the prevailing view that moisture compromises an IC's long-term reliability, ChipSensors CEO Tim Cummins insists that modern low-k dielectrics aren't prone to swelling. "We can selectively open up part of the surface of the chip, he said. "We usually use only the top level of a multilevel interconnect. The etch-stop layer can prevent buried layers from being affected. The variation in dielectric constant due to moisture or gas ingress can be measured using an 18-bit sigma-delta A/D converter the company has developed.All news
Google locks future wearable IP with smart lens patents
April 16, 2014
Yesterday, 15th of April, US-based Google fans were granted the privilege to exchange $1500 for a ďpairĒ of Google Glass. ...
Porsche connects infotainment to cloud with HTML5
Anglia signs with DEM Manufacturing
RFMW Ltd to distribute Aviacommís transceivers
Sensors, actuators market on 11% CAGR to 2018
Additional conference complements Sensor + Test trade fair
April 15, 2014
As an add-on to the Sensor + Test trade fair later this year in Nuremberg (Germany), the organizer plans to launch the European ...
End of Windows XP boosted 1Q14 PC sales, says Gartner
Global HB LED market set to shine by 2018
Chinese smartphone maker undercuts western companies
- USB 5V 2.5A Output, 42V Input Synchronous Buck with Cable Drop Compensation
- Measurement applications across multiple test platforms
- Supplying DC input power to string inverters
- Supplying DC input power for HEV testing
InterviewHeartbleed challenges the Internet of Thing
The Heartbleed security bug is a key example of the fundamental security challenge for the Internet of Things says Green Hills Software as it launches a new security group.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Arrow Electronics is giving away ten XMC1200 lighting application kits, worth 100 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Each kit combines Infineon’s brightness and colour control XMC1200 CPU board to drive flicker free LED dimming and colour changing, together with a colour LED card and a white LED card.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.