Product News: Electrical Equipment & Systems

Current to Voltage Converter is ready for analog ASIC integration.

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Press Release Summary:

January 31, 2014 - Using Transimpendance Amplifier architecture with 8 digitally programmable current ranges from 8 µA to 1 mA, SCi310 Analog Front End IP block converts current captured from sensor system to fully differential output voltage that is ready to be amplified. Precision I/V converter block maintains constant voltage at input pin for all operating modes and input currents while enhancing linearity and keeping offset low using Auto Zeroing offset cancellation circuit applied via digital signal.

JVD Inc

2266 Trade Zone Blvd, San Jose, CA, 95131, USA

Original Press Release

Precision AFE Current to Voltage Converter Now Available for Analog ASIC Integration

Press release date: January 29, 2014

SCi310 Precision I/V Converter Block Available for Integration Into Customer Defined SoC and ASIC Devices

San Jose, CA – Fabless Analog Semiconductor Company, JVD Inc., inventor of the iASIC™ and a leader in Analog and Mixed-Signal ASIC Design and Manufacturing, announced today the availability of a critical Analog Front End IP block designed for conditioning signals from sensors where the generic information about the phenomenon being detected, whether light or other physical or chemical or electromechanical apparatus, passes the first electrical conversion as a current.

Designed as a silicon IP module to be integrated with additional circuitry unique to the customer's application needs, the SCi310 converts current captured from the sensor system to a fully differential output voltage, ready to be amplified. The highly linear current to voltage conversion is achieved by using a proprietary Transimpendance Amplifier (TIA) architecture with 8 digitally programmable current ranges, extending from 8uA to 1mA in 1x:2x:4x…128x increments, making the block suitable for connection to a wide variety of sensors with varying full scale current outputs.

Since it is more convenient to process signals in terms of voltages rather than currents, it is intuitive to employ the functionality of a current-to-voltage converter prior any further analogue signal processing. One of the functionalities that the SCi310 provides is maintaining the constant voltage at the input pin for all operating modes and input currents. This additional benefit is especially useful when biasing PiN diodes in photoconductive region. The photoconductive region is preferred over photovoltaic region because of its linearity.

The SCi310 brings significant benefit to ASICs used in a large variety of applications - optical systems, pollution-detectors and monitoring, water treatment and processing, HVAC engineering industries, amperometric applications, chemical species identification, car engine control systems, navigation systems, precision process control, electrochemical blood glucose meter, X-ray detection systems, CT scanners or generally anywhere where photodiode sensors are being used, etc.

Since the SCi310 provides direct interface to the sensor systems with current output, it is ideally suited for applications including bio industry, medical, environmental, agriculture, aquaculture, food, ecology (soil, air, water pollution monitoring), photonics, energy & process control (smart meters & grids), instrumentation, automotive & security, military equipment & aircraft, mobile phones & gadgets, PCs & laptops with built-in sensors.

The SCi310 block is designed to enhance linearity and keep the offset low using  a specially designed Auto Zeroing offset cancellation circuit that is applied via a digital signal. Any resulting output voltage in Auto Zero mode can be later used in the signal path for compensation. Additionally, a positive or negative current can be applied to the Ioc pin from an external variable current source such as a current DAC to cancel positive or negative offset voltages at the output. This feature is particularly useful for the cancellation of offset coming from the sensor.

While the main feature of the SCi310 is the measurement of absolute input current values in the range of hundreds of picoA to 1 mA (seven orders of magnitude), it has ability to detect and measure a small input current difference with additional switched-capacitor circuit for generating signal difference and amplification. The IP can be easily modified to accommodate customizable current ranges on demand, for instance:  high current detection up to 10 mA (for the industrial applications). It can also be upgraded for multi-channel inputs, etc.

"Although the SCi310 design has been silicon proven in TSMC 0.18um," said Damir Vuk , CEO and a co-founder of Systemcom Ltd., "we can help JVD to port the technology to other foundries to meet their customer's expectations. The SCi310 is developed by the Systemcom Ltd. team and now is available for integration into JVD Analog ASICs thanks to the relationship between JVD and Systemcom announced in 2013.”

JVD's approach to ASIC design, called iASICs, shatters most conventional analog IC design methodology by embodying a full custom approach. iASICs create the smallest chips and thus guarantee customers the lowest total cost solution.

Access to the Systemcom's design resources expands the company's portfolio of design skills and capabilities, from the area of the automotive ASICs to mobile devices and bio-medicine technology especially for applications that incorporate nanotechnology biosensors.

Photo:    http://www.jvdinc.com/assets/SCi-310Print300dpi.jpg
Press Release:   http://www.jvdinc.com/precision-afe-current/
Whitepaper:   http://www.jvdinc.com/sci310-analog-applications/

About JVD, Inc.

JVD, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Jerry VanDierendonck, a member of the TI team that developed the world's first microcontroller, TMS 1000.  JVD is a leader in Analog Mixed-Signal ASIC Design, Manufacturing and Test Services. The company provides turn-key Analog and Analog-mixed signal ICs for custom and standard products as well as contract Test Services for chip companies, OEMs and ODMs. The company has expertise in semiconductor Bipolar, BCD, CMOS, and BiCMOS analog/digital chip design, including power management, power protection, display drivers, audio, low power RF, and standard products in high and low volume applications. As a full service fabless semiconductor company, JVD, Inc. provides custom integrated circuit solutions for a wide variety of customers, providing cost effective, high performance devices to meet their challenging design requirements.  JVD, Inc is a privately held company with headquarters in San Jose, Calif. For more information, please visit www.jvdinc.com.

About Systemcom, Ltd.
Systemcom, Ltd. was established in 1993 and has been involved in EDA software development since its inception. Working with companies like Intel and Compaq/HP, the company expanded into microprocessor development and later through a relationship with Bosch, expanded further into analog and mixed digital and analog integrated circuits. Systemcom is a fully integrated solutions provider and new product developer in information and communication technology (ICT), offering products and services in building information systems and microelectronic designs, both software and hardware oriented, for our global customers and partners. Systemcom is a preferred partner for analog and mixed-signal IC design services. We work in close partnership with our customers, vendors and partners, including JVD, Inc. to provide optimal solutions for the most technically challenging projects. For more information, contact Systemcom, Ltd. at http://www.systemcom.hr

Press Contact:
Bob Frostholm
Director, Marketing & Sales
JVD, Inc.
2266 Trade Zone Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95131

Phone: 408-263-7704
bob.frostholm@jvdinc.com .

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