microsystem

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the World of Microsystem Manufacturing

The presence of artificial intelligence (AI) has become quite significant in many applications. Most notably in big data analytics, facial recognition software, military equipment, and self-driving cars, among others.

What is AI?

 

AI enables machines to think. It provides the ability of the machine or software application to learn, act, and reason like human cognition. The beginning of AI goes back to the 1950s. However, recent developments in AI technology catapults the concept into new abilities and uses.

This is possible by creating sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to process huge data sets, learn from experience, and improve over time. It was in 2010 that advances in deep learning came.

That enabled the processing of a wider range of data through a certain type of machine-learning, requiring fewer data preprocessing done by human operators, and often producing more accurate results.

 

What is the role of AI in microsystem manufacturing?

 

There is a significant role of AI in the semiconductor industry due to its potential of creating huge business value. In fact, microsystem manufacturing companies investing in AI/ML are already generating value.

These are companies making notable investments in AI/ML talent, particularly in data infrastructure, technology, and other factors. They have also fully scaled up their initial use cases for that matter.

Although many are still in the pilot phase in terms of AI/ML, forecasts suggest that its application of such technology can accelerate dramatically over the next few years. If companies will take steps to scale up now, they will be able to capture the full benefits of such technologies.

 

How AI offers opportunities for microsystem companies

 

Chips intended to work with machine learning, or the neural networks called AI accelerators are expected to have a growth rate of approximately 18% per annum. This is more than 5 times the growth seen for semiconductor companies using non-AI applications. These also include areas of high growth in AI chips for the broader field of neural networks and for autonomous vehicles.

Neural networks are specialized AI algorithms working just as the human brain does. These are able to interpret sensory data and deliver patterns in huge amounts of unstructured data. Such is quite useful for facial recognition, predictive analysis, self-driving cars, and targeted marketing.

This is when microsystem manufacturing will benefit from the creation of AI accelerators and multiple inferencing chips required in the development of such AI technologies.

 

How semiconductor companies profit from AI technology

 

There are various areas of microsystem manufacturing that can benefit from the adoption of AI technology which includes but are not limited to the following.

  • High-bandwidth memory
  • High-speed interconnected hardware
  • Networking chips
  • Non-volatile memory
  • On-chip memory
  • Storage
  • Workload-specific AI accelerators

Accordingly, investment in AI technology enables chipmakers to capture their share of markets if they can meet the upcoming demand. Demand for AI will increase which brings many opportunities for the semiconductor industry but also a crisis in the acquisition of talent.

 

Learn about our semiconductor technology by visiting our products page here.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

mixed signal soc

How to Debug a Mixed Signal SOC

Chipmakers strictly implement verification and debugging in a typical analog and mixed signal SOC design. This is important for manufacturing companies to save billions of dollars effectively and efficiently.

 

The designs can have a huge impact on the verification cycle when they become bigger and more complex. In fact, verification engineers often face various challenges daily for the verification of modern mixed signal SOC.

 

What is a mixed signal SOC?

 

A mixed signal SOC is the integration of both analog and digital functionality within the same chip. The key in the verification process of the analog and mixed signal design is the interaction between them.

 

There can be various components within a semiconductor SOC at different levels of abstractions from different sources and languages. In the design process, there must be an integration of IPs at various levels without losing its overall design goals.

 

Thus, there should be a thorough testing of IP quality inside and outside of the SOC. Designers have a huge role during the design considering the size of SOC with multiple IPs. They must have effective debugging tools having quick and easy visualization, annotation, and navigation, among other tools to make the right decisions.

 

How do you debug a mixed signal SOC?

 

The cost of chips in the semiconductor industry is skyrocketing due to the global chip shortage, particularly in the automotive industry. The manufacture of a robust chip employs a long, iterative process that may require a lot of re-spins.

 

This is the main reason why it is very important to find and fix bugs as early as the development cycle than during the implementation wherein they can get a hundred times more expensive to fix.

 

As a result, proper verification and debugging will have fewer re-spins, faster market-to-market, lower costs, and more reliable products. But how do you debug a mixed signal SOC for that matter?

 

Here are steps to debug mixed signal SOC in an effective and efficient way to avoid certain issues:

 

  • Test bench configuration using SPICE design and Verilog-AMS model in the AMS simulation
  • Narrow down the issue in the SPICE design during the AMS simulation using the modeling approach
  • Set up the correct Connect module via the Connect Rule in the AMS simulation
  • Include the correct process corners in the SPICE simulation
  • Force/access the SPICE net from the System Verilog test bench
  • Speed up the simulation time using appropriate levels of wave dump in the SPICE simulation
  • Select the appropriate simulator with the correct speed/accuracy options for the AMS simulations
  • Use the Verilog-AMS netlist for the AMS simulations

 

Note that there are common issues encountered during the AMS simulation. AMS verification engineers can debug and verify mixed signal SOC using this guide.

 

  • Pin swapped or mismatched between analog IPs when integrated at the analog top level
  • Branch not terminated properly in a Verilog-AMS model
  • The simulation takes longer due to the large dump file size and SPICE design
  • Some domains do not show correct values because of incorrect connect module
  • Improper simulator settings leading to incorrect results
  • Mismatched digital control signals coming to the analog IPs
  • Hierarchical references in the digital test bench

Learn more about our direct work in the industry here.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

microsystems

Where It All Began: The History of Microsystems and the Semiconductor Industry

The microsystems and semiconductor industry changed the world with innovations and breakthroughs in the fields of aeronautics, automotive, manufacturing, and medicine.

 

Without this innovation, the world of modern technology will not be the same, from healthcare to cellphones to cars. Thus, the U.S. receives credit for creating the semiconductor.

 

What are Microsystems?

 

The development and manufacture of components having dimensions in the range of a micrometer is microsystem technology. Microsystems contain structures comparable to the diameter of human hair.

 

Innovative sensors and actuators play a vital role in miniaturized and distributed control systems with integrated intelligence because of the trend in automation towards faster, smaller, and more intelligent systems.

 

Microsystems are miniature devices fabricated with the use of micromachining techniques. Such is common in various areas of application, including automotive, biomedical, consumer electronics, and industrial measurements, among others.

 

Silicon materials were useful in fabricating microsystems because the processing equipment was already available in microelectronics foundries. At the same time, it was because of the thorough understanding of the properties that the impressive development of electronics made possible in the 1950s and 60s.

 

History of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry

 

The innovation and contribution of the U.S. to the world of modern technology are undeniable. In fact, its creation of the semiconductor has made a huge difference. The U.S. also continues to lead in the industry in terms of research, design, and more.

 

Everything from healthcare technology to cars to mobile phones sees an impact from the semiconductor industry. That said, the U.S. can be considered the leader in the development of technology for many years.

 

In fact, the U.S. has been leading the advancement and growth of the industry since the 1990s. The invention production of computers directly relates to the U.S. federal government investing in the industry.

 

The semiconductor industry also greatly contributed to the U.S. military. As a result, a huge initial investment in research for the industry was done in the beginning. That said, the growth of the semiconductor industry has given new opportunities overall for economic growth as well as the development of other industries.

 

In a more recent update, the U.S. continues to lead the semiconductor industry for the development and advancement of artificial intelligence and 5G technology. The semiconductor industry has indeed contributed much to the technological advancements and economic growth of the country.

 

Keeping up with the global competition

 

The competitiveness of the semiconductor industry is an important part of the economic growth and national security of the U.S. One of the things that have given a competitive edge to the country is education, as people travel from around the globe to study at American universities.

 

In addition, the manufacturing jobs in the U.S. also pay better compared to other manufacturing jobs, encouraging people to work and stay in the industry.

 

Moreover, a House bill approved in early 2021 included additional funding for the investment in the semiconductor industry. All of this sums up to stay on top of global competitiveness.

 

Learn more about our work in the industry at LinearMicrosystems.com.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

analog design

How Can I Become an Analog Design Engineer?

Are you looking to land a job as an analog design engineer? First, it is important to understand the job description and daily tasks of the position. Moreover, you need to have a basic knowledge of analog and digital fundamentals. Successful applicants need to provide solutions to significant problems in their field of expertise.

 

What is an Analog Design Engineer?

If you are into engineering and want an exciting position working with a fabless manufacturer, analog design engineering may be the position for you. In comparison to other jobs, these engineers have a growth rate of 2% between the years 2018-2028.

 

This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thus, the prediction is that by 2028 the number of open analog design engineer opportunities is around 8,000.

 

In terms of income, the profession averages $102,249 of salary per year. An engineer in this area can also earn from around $79,000 to $130,000 annual salary. Thus, it takes work to become this kind of engineer.

 

What Education Level Do I Need?

Given the job of an analog design, an engineer requires you to have the appropriate educational background to get hired.

 

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with more than 10 years of experience or Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with more than 8 years of experience in designing ICs at the transistor level.
  • Strong analog or mixed-signal IC design with the use of CMOS, BiMOS, or Bipolar technology
  • Strong expertise in analog signal processing design using references, amplifiers, switch-cap, active filters, ADCs, DACs, PLLs, and oscillators. Also, he or she must have knowledge of CAD schematic capture and simulation tools.
  • Strong communications and interpersonal skills
  • Extensive knowledge of device physics and models

 

About 9% of these engineers are proficient in CMOS, IC, and RF, aside from soft skills such as initiative, interpersonal skills, and speaking skills.

 

What are the Typical Duties of an Analog Design Engineer?

An analog design engineer is inclined to refine electrical signals across an array of electronic equipment. Part of their job is designing electronic parts and integrated circuitry for analog and mixed-signal electronic equipment. Moreover, they must develop the whole integrated circuit’s lifecycle which starts from specification, circuit design, architecture development, layout supervision and test the launching of a product.

 

At the same time, this engineer must review vendor capability to support product development and inspect equipment to initiate operating data. Most of all, they must possess strong numerical skills and an understanding of signal processing and systems theory.

 

Where can I get Hired?

Nowadays, semiconductor companies are often fabless, which indicates that the company doesn’t take part in any fabrication of the product but in the designing and marketing aspects of the semiconductor chips.

 

That said, you can apply as an analog design engineer at Linear MicroSystems today. In fact, they are offering an exciting and flexible work environment, competitive salary, and generous dental and medical insurance, and extensive career growth opportunities.

 

Visit the Linear MicroSystems website to find a current job listing for an Analog/Mixed-signal design engineer.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

system-on-a-chip(SOC)

What Is Digital Signage and How Is System-on-a-Chip(SOC) Involved?

Due to the rising popularity of dynamic digital content, businesses have taken advantage of the benefits of digital signage. Note that digital signage doesn’t always have to be advertisements. That said, digital signage projects require careful planning and professional execution, particularly for projects that are complex in nature. In fact, it requires new technology, like system-on-a-chip(SOC), to ensure cost-effectiveness and reliability.

 

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage or otherwise called electronic signage refers to the display technology such as LED walls, LCD monitors, and projection to be able to display the message in a more vivid manner. These include directions, digital images, marketing messages, restaurant menus, webpages, and videos.

 

Moreover, digital signage can function in a variety of settings, including academic buildings, corporate spaces, churches, museums, public spaces, retail stores, restaurants, and sporting arenas primarily to provide marketing, messaging outdoor advertising, and wayfinding.

 

Basically, digital signage can be useful for carrying internal communication, offering public information, or sharing product information to enhance brand recognition, customer service, and promotions. Moreover, it can greatly influence customer behavior and decision-making, while enhancing consumer experiences via interactive screens.

 

Several Uses of Digital Signage involving system-on-a-chip(SOC):

 

Promotions

  1. Digital signage can help promote events, products, sales, and services.

Service offerings

  1. Businesses can list their service offerings on digital displays in an artistic manner. Such would include auto repair shops, fitness studios, restaurants, salons, signage, and spas.

Inspirational quotes

  1. Since digital signage is not always about advertising, you can still entertain and inspire your potential customers with content with famous quotes.

Interactive forms and games

  1. Users can take advantage of interactive digital signage by being able to play games and subscribe to email newsletters.

 

There are also other forms of digital signage that can influence people or the target audience to pay attention and respond accordingly. Such would include the following:

 

    • Social media streams and news
    • Company memos for recognition
    • Calendars and event schedules
    • Maps
    • Directories
    • Emergency messages

 

How is System-On-A-Chip(SOC) Involved?

The role of system-on-a-chip(SOC) in digital signage technology has become popular in recent years. With this technology, businesses will have the power to reach the target audience in a captivating, entertaining, and vivid manner.

 

The significance of interactive and large-scale digital signage has been embraced by the business world. Thanks to system-on-a-chip(SOC) digital signage technology, it is possible to have an all-in-one solution instead of having any other external devices or cables to the display.

 

In recent years, SoC displays have been gaining market share in the digital signage space. In fact, SoC displays are currently being used worldwide in 41% of new digital signage deployments.

 

The use of system-on-a-chip(SOC) displays has rapidly gained market share in the digital signage space in recent years. In fact, all top display manufacturers provide SOC displays for sale. That said, they are often less expensive than the same professional display without the built-in SOC.

 

Need a fabless manufacturer for your next system-on-a-chip(SOC) project? Contact us at Linear MicroSystems today!


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

ASIC card

How the ASIC Card Is Made: The Ins And Outs of Fabless Manufacturing

An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is a microchip made for a particular application. In contrast to general integrated circuits, ASIC cards allow specific actions to take place inside a specific device.

 

ASIC is a preferred choice because it’s smaller in comparison to multiple interconnected standard products on a PC board. This variability in size allows the chip to be as large or as small as possible. This has become the trend for the shrinking of electronic equipment sizes in recent years.

 

What is an ASIC Card?

While the original cost of design can be high, ASICs provide a cost-effective solution. ASIC cards are in products like mobile phones and other popular consumer devices that require large production runs.

 

Designers can benefit from ASICs for a variety of reasons, which include the following.

 

  • Decrease the size of the device
  • Perform specialized functions
  • Avoid issues with supply chains
  • Make it hard for the competition to emulate products using custom chips

 

The use of an ASIC card enables the consolidation of multiple functions on a single chip. Thus, ASIC products need fewer electronic components and are also cheaper and easier to assemble.

 

What is Fabless Manufacturing?

Semiconductor companies require significant contributions in terms of capital, staff, and resources, aside from equipment, infrastructure, and storage facilities to supplement the process of manufacturing.

 

Thus, they have gone for a fabless model. This is a cost-effective alternative to allow them to share existing facilities of third parties that will perfectly fit their requirements. Fabless companies can focus their time, effort, and resources on developing new ideas. Because of this, they can maintain the variability in production volume, efficiency, and velocity without the pressure on resources and their staff.

 

Fabless manufacturing of semiconductors benefits a variety of electronics, particularly digital cameras, smartphones, and smart cars. Such companies will design and sell hardware and semiconductor chips but don’t manufacture the chips or silicon wafers they use in their products.

 

That is because they outsource the fabrication to manufacturing plants or foundries. Such foundries are in countries where skilled labor is abundant and cheap. This is where they keep the production costs low and return on investment high.

 

Products made by these fabless companies are used in many market-leading corporations today, including top companies like Apple, Dell, and Samsung, just to name a few.

 

Where to Learn More

Linear MicroSystems is a fabless semiconductor company that offers high-performance RF, analog, and mixed-signal ASICs.  In fact, the company has become a supplier of high-quality and high-volume ASIC solutions, developing the most advanced system-on-a-chip ASIC solutions on the planet.

 

You can learn more about Linear MicroSystems and ask for a proposal on how the company can help provide the solution for your semiconductor needs. Visit the website talk to experts about analog, digital, and RF analog circuit design solutions.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

Sensor ASIC

Inductive Sensing and Sensor ASIC: What It’s All About

Inductive sensors are intended to calculate the speed or position, particularly in harsh environments. Sensor ASIC can help enhance the sensor’s interface. Nevertheless, the use of this term and technique can be confusing to many engineers.

That is since inductive position and speed sensors are available in many different designs, shapes, and sizes. Accordingly, all inductive sensors would work on transformer principles and use a physical phenomenon based on alternating electrical currents.

The Technology Used in Inductive Sensing

An inductive sensor can detect ferrous metal targets even without physical contact. At the same time, it can detect non-ferrous metal targets such as aluminum, brass, and copper. The only problem with non-ferrous metal targets is that they can decrease the sensing range of the inductive sensor.

Sensing Range

  • This is the distance from the face of the sensor to the maximum distance it can detect a metal target.

Correction Factor

  •  Note that when the object is non-ferrous metal or one that doesn’t have a significant amount of iron within it, a simple correction factor is required to define the sensing distance.

Parts of Inductive Sensors

  • The main external parts of the inductive sensor include the body, face, indicator light, and cable end.

The use of sensor ASIC technology will eventually make it possible to detect changes along with the intelligent interface between the sensor and the user daily.

How an Inductive Sensor Works

Inductive sensors use a coil to generate a high-frequency magnetic field. So, if there is a metal object close to the changing magnetic field, the current will flow in the object. A new magnetic field is set up from the resulting flow of current, which opposes the original magnetic field.

Inductive sensors are non-contact and work for the detection of metal objects. These sensors use a magnetic field generated in front of the sensor. So, if you put a metal target close to the face of the sensor, it will disrupt the electromagnetic field. This will cause the output and indicator light of the sensor to turn on.

Advantages of Using an Inductive Sensor

Inductive sensors are solid-state and they don’t have any moving parts. This means that they are quite reliable because they only need replacing if they have physical damage.

On the other hand, these sensors can still work even when they get dirty. So, even if they gather dirt, grease, oil, or sawdust, it will not affect how they detect the targets.

Applications of Inductive Sensors and Sensor ASIC

Inductive sensors for automation detect parts in place at conveyor stops, at robots, and workstations. At the same time, they can detect if an air cylinder is retracted or extended. These can also detect a pallet stop or if a chain transfer is lowered or raised.

Lots of industries use ASICs to provide various solutions. Sensor ASIC is only one of the many innovations capable of enhancing the sensor interface.

 

To learn about our ASIC technology expertise here at Linear MicroSystems, click here! 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

microsystems

Linear Microsystems in Healthcare: Ultrasound Machines and ASIC

Ultrasound machines play a major role in healthcare in a variety of ways. Traditionally, ultrasounds are display images for prenatal applications and internal medicine. The use of microsystems and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology in the development of innovative medical and healthcare solutions, like ultrasound technology, helps make this possible.

Importance of Ultrasound Technology in Healthcare

Ultrasound waveforms transmit and focus along a vector or beam. The ultrasonic energy reflects from the patient and focuses to form a picture of an object from the signal received.

The moment the beam is collected, the operation will be repeated by the ultrasound imager. Thus, collecting a series of beams that reconstruct into a two-dimensional image.

Aside from prenatal applications and internal medicine, there are newer applications for ultrasound technology which including the following:

Dental Descaling

  • The use of ultrasound technology in dental medicine is for periodontal therapy. This is in the form of ultrasound debridement. This application is more effective and efficient than manual debridement.

Shockwave Lithotripsy

  • As the name suggests, this process breaks up kidney stones and other calcium-based growths inside the body with the use of ultrasonic waves. This is quite useful to break up the stones that will not pass naturally. In fact, it is an excellent alternative to surgery.

Research also shows that high-resolution focused beams of ultrasonic energy have been used for imaging purposes in non-destructive testing and by the medical profession. This is achievable by pulsing the elements of the ultrasonic array transducer in a predetermined manner.

Role of ASIC technology in the healthcare process

ASIC technology also plays a great role in the healthcare process with implantable medical devices providing therapy for several conditions. Medically integrated circuits are in devices that are programmable to administer drugs on a more effective schedule. This will help in providing effective treatment and relief of patient’s conditions with lesser side effects.

Medical ASIC does several supporting functions for implanted medical devices, which include the following:

  • Communications
  • Sensing
  • Stimulation
  • Therapy delivery
  • Memory storage
  • Microprocessor
  • Power management

Microsystems in healthcare help meet the requirements for medical device integration since implantable devices are lightweight, small, and power-efficient.

Thus, all the functionalities are deliverable in a small medical ASIC with a smaller footprint than other solutions. In comparison to ASIC for commercial use, applications for medical devices already have a process maturity less likely to require revisions, offer a robust solution, and provides more quality.

The use of ASICs in healthcare also plays a vital role by combining several functions into one chip. This technology will not be possible because the number of chips required to drive the machinery will be too cumbersome.

Overall, Linear MicroSystems can provide a solution that will further benefit the healthcare industry with the application of modern ASICs and ultrasonic technology. Click here to get in contact with our engineers today.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

soc

How SOC is Used in Glucose Monitoring Devices

When thinking of a medical device such as a continuous glucose monitor, you might not consider the technological advancements behind them. Technology like system on a chip, or SOC, is helping make massive improvements in the world of glucose monitoring.

Monitoring blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes is vital. Unmonitored and uncontrolled conditions can lead to complications, such as the following diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Glaucoma
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve damage

Therefore, several different ways are available to properly  monitor blood sugar, including:

  • Blood glucose meter
  • Continuous glucose monitor
  • Freestyle libre
  • Urine test

Among several effective methods, the glucose monitoring device is gaining popularity for providing real-time glucose or blood sugar readings.

However, some patients find the conventional methods quite bothersome. Thus, advances in blood sugar monitoring technology can be a game-changer.

One of them is the glucose monitoring device to monitor the blood sugar levels by measuring the interstitial glucose level. A signal travels to a monitor or a mobile app where an alert sounds if the levels become too high or too low.

How glucose monitoring devices work

Glucose monitoring devices work with the application of sensors to check how fast and in which direction the glucose levels are trending. Moreover, it can let you check your sugar levels overnight. The values of the glucose readings appear after data is transmitted to a monitor or insulin pump.

The sensor inserts into the subcutaneous tissue or just under the skin. This is quite similar to the insertion of the insulin pump catheter in the upper buttock or abdominal area.

The glucose levels in the fluid surrounding the cell are measured every ten seconds and converted into an electrical signal. These signals will represent the amount of sugar in the blood.

This device uses a transmitter that attaches to the sensor and sends a signal to a pager-sized device at a person’s belt or waistline. The system will record an average glucose value automatically every 5 minutes for up to 72 hours.

It requires 3 days before the sensor will be removed and the information will be downloaded to a computer. This will then be used to collect data and make necessary adjustments if needed.

This is quite useful to identify the fluctuations and trends that might go unnoticed with standard tests as well as fingerstick measurements. As a result, it will enable you to take action to avoid severe high or low levels before it is too late.

Technological advancements using SOC

Applications without SOC, advancements in monitoring blood sugar levels would be slower to come about. In fact, conventional glucose monitoring methods around the world are costly, invasive, painful, and time-consuming.

The research helps determine the effectiveness of using continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring. SOC technology has been useful for introducing a wearable system for monitoring glucose levels based on a single wavelength photoplethysmography. The overall system uses a 180 nm CMOS process with a chip size of 4 square mm and consumes about 1.62 mW.

Furthermore, developers are working on an ASIC chip to provide a controlled blood glucose monitor as an implantable device. This ASIC-controlled blood sugar monitor using SOC is implantable in the upper arm or wrist area of the patient.

Interested in working with Linear MicroSystem engineers on your next project? Click here to view markets we currently work with!


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

mixed-signal asic

What Are Mixed-Signal ASIC Product and Test Engineers?

The job of a mixed-signal ASIC product and test engineer can be so rewarding. But it requires certain skills and working knowledge in testing high-speed digital and high-performance analog circuits.

 

What is mixed-signal ASIC?

 

Mixed-signal ASIC design is the combination of both analog and digital circuits placed on the same chip. So, this gives engineers the potential to reduce complex, multiple-integrated circuit designs into only a single integrated circuit.

 

The availability and commercial viability of mixed-signal ASIC makes it possible to gain certain benefits, such as the following.

 

  • Reduction in cost
  • Protection of intellectual property
  • Improved reliability
  • Low power consumption
  • Miniaturization
  • Improvement in performance

 

Analog and mixed-signal ASIC designs are both found in products in various segments of the market, from healthcare to cosmetics, industrial sensors to flight control, mobile devices to credit card scanners, as well as instrumentation.

 

A mixed-signal ASIC combines the competencies of analog and digital circuit design. Building such technology will require the following aspects.

 

  • Analog-to-digital conversion using all methods in sigma-delta modulation
  • Circuit design with linear circuits and techniques in switched-capacitor circuits
  • Development of tests patterns, test procedures, and test structures for ASICs
  • Low-power circuit design
  • Mixed-signal ASIC design and modeling

 

What do product and test engineers do?

 

The responsibilities of a product and test engineer involve designing and implementing test solutions for analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits.

 

It is also their job to perform yield analysis, interface with design engineering and customers particularly on the use, testing, and problems in production.

 

The product test engineer also has duties and responsibilities which include the following.

 

  1. Development of test programs and write test plans for the validation of product performance
  2. Do product testing and log test results
  3. Analyze and track defects found after product testing
  4. Work with product teams for the development of test plans for new products
  5. Assist in the development of test protocols in anticipation of product performance
  6. Monitor and track status of test defects
  7. Determine the timing and cost needed to perform test programs
  8. Preparation of failure analysis report and implement corrective actions
  9. Recommendation of product design revisions on the basis of test data to achieve expected performance
  10. Determine the needs to conduct testing in terms of resources and equipment
  11. Development of manual and automated tools in order to increase the effectiveness of tests
  12. Development of best practices for the improvement of test quality
  13. Review of the technical architecture documents, design documents, and functional requirements to know any potential defects.
  14. Maintain accuracy of documents for executed test programs
  15. Investigation of test problems and implementation of solutions

 

Why is a mixed-signal ASIC engineer a good position?

 

Your job as a mixed-signal ASIC engineer is without a doubt quite rewarding. Aside from the good compensation, the mixed-signal ASIC engineer plays a major role in the lifecycle of a mixed-signal integrated circuit.

 

In the absence of mixed-signal ASIC technology, there will be the non-existence of portable electronic devices that you can use on a daily basis. After all, can you imagine a world without mobile phones, navigation systems, or MP3 players.

 

Overall, a mixed-signal ASIC engineer is a key contributor in the development of next-generation instruments with the purpose of cost reduction, efficiency, and low power consumption.


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.