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Second Year - Issue 4 - February 2013

Cell Phones Evolution OS Porting

Energy Harvesting

Egypt Scholars 2020

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3 Editorial Word Welcome to VLSI Egypt magazine

4 Vibration Based Energy

8 FPGA 9-1-1 (2)

A Magazine by VLSI Egypt Editor in Chief

Ahmad Ibrahim Editorial Team

Harvesting

1 2 Operating Systems Porting

1 4 Cell Phones Evolution From Dyna TAC 8000x to iphone 5 1 6 Why Do we need UWB (2)?

23 VLSI Egypt Activity Summary 31

Mohamed Atef Muhammad El-Khashab Khaled Kabil Ahmad Abou El-Saoud Hussein Ali Website

www.vlsiegypt.com Contacts

magazine@vlsiegypt.com VLSI-Egypt is a nonprofit, service oriented, community based NGO

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Cellular communications have become an essential component of our lives. The new generations have reached a point where they cannot even imagine life without a cell phone. 1 4 Cell Phones

Evolution


Editorial Word Welcome to the Fourth Issue of VLSI Egypt magazine From its first days and VLSI Egypt is trying to provide the VLSI Community members with all the needed support to develop their careers and improve their knowledge. From this point VLSI Egypt took the steps to start new activities that help in achieving that goal. Recently, VLSI Egypt started new activity called “Creative Minds� to help fresh graduates and students to get hands on experience and remove the barriers between industry and university. More details about the new activity and other activities are found in VLSI Egypt activity summary inside this Issue

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This issue of VLSI Egypt covers a whole new set of topics in addition to the continuation of previously initiated series. We continue our series on current trends in RF and Microwave and IC research continues with a discussion on why we need UWB. The second part of the FPGA series we started in issue 2 with an overview about the Digital Design Flow for FPGA projects. The idea of operating system porting is presented. A journey along the history of evolution of cell phones is introduced. A discussion about the fundamentals of Vibration based Energy Harvesting is also present. We continue our arabic articles with an article about Egypt Scholars 2020 initiative. We hope you find this issue of VLSI Egypt interesting and useful. We would also like to ask you to update us with all your feedback, opinions and comments as this is how we asses our progress and success. Finally we would like to thank you all very much for your interaction, support and for keeping VLSI Egypt such a dynamic community.

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State of the Art

Vibrations Based Energy Harvesting By: Dr. Eihab Abdel­Rahman, Karim El­Rayes Introduction

“Energy”, the keyword for today’s global industry and economies, all people and all organizations are seeking for energy and all kinds of energy from any available resources, all scales of energy are required starting from powering small devices like cellphones or embedded pacemaker inside patient’s body going up to enormous, huge amounts of energy required to light up a metropolitan cities like Paris or New York or a huge industrial facility. The demand for electric power every day for many applications and in different locations become stronger and urgent, and batteries aren’t enough as they hinder portability from time to time and 6

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need replacement on certain time intervals depending on the usage, adding the main issues and concerns related to recent sources of energy like costs (in case of using fossil fuel in generation), availability (most of sources aren’t portable), safety (like in case of nuclear energy based generation), this demand has transformed to a motivation for looking after non-traditional sources of energy that are less expensive, more redundant, more environmental friendly and the most important “Easy to get”. Vibrations Energy Harvesting, or for short “VEH”, is the art and field of scavenging waste kinetic energy resulted from any vibrating and/or moving body and convert it to electrical energy

through different mechanisms we will go through within the article. All these concerns defined what we can call the “Dream” of making use of waste energy that exist around in surrounding environment and convert it to useful applicable form of power; the VEH represents part of this futuristic approach of finding non-traditional sources of energy in nature and deploy it for different useful applications, with the other approaches and results achieved in the last 20 years in harvesting energy from surrounding environment the dream become an “Ambition” of deploying these approached on the large scale of supplying the whole nation with power through such new sources of energy.


Energy Harvesting:

Energy Harvesting is the process of capturing, scavenging, or hunting for energy from physical phenomena in nature, kinetic, solar, thermal ...etc, and converting it to electrical energy. Since energy is neither created nor destroyed, captured energy is either transformed to electrical energy or lost to various energy loss mechanisms, depending on the harvester design and the harvesting mechanism. The level of complexity of energy harvesting varies depends on five factors: 1- The form of energy to be harvested and the amount of energy available in the environment. 2- The technology used in harvesting and conversion as far as its reliability and suitability to the amount of energy being harvested, and efficiency. 3- The type and design of the transducer. 4- The need for input or output conditioning blocks, such as filters, rectifiers, boosting circuits, and regulators. 5- The type of energy storage element, since the output energy is not consumed in tandem with the conversion process. Figure 1 summarizes the energy harvesting process phases and the importance of each phase.

vert and output relatively large amounts of electrical power that can feed the power like solar power stations and wind farms which can output up to hundreds of "Megawatts" of electrical power. On the other hand, small electronic devices requires a very low amount of energy to operate, some of these applications require a perpetual or sustainable source of energy depending on the device operating conditions and task, early examples of these devices are kinetic wrest watches and solar panelpowered calculators. Therefore, two categories of energy harvesters can be identified in terms of the level output power: 1- Macro harvesting: generates high levels of electrical power on the order of a few hundreds of watts or more, that can feed the electrical grid like solar power stations or wind farms. At this scale, energy harvesting units require mechanical and electrical component design, maintenance, and transmission lines and occupy large space. 2- Micro harvesting: generates low levels of power (microwatts up to few watts). This category of harvesters is suitable to drive low power portable electronic devices, and applications that require a perpetual source of energy like

basis or to extend a power cable to them. This scale of energy harvesters has many advantages in terms of mechanical and electrical components' design simplicity, setup, maintenance, footprint, and size, integration with other systems and cost. On the other hand, the disadvantages of this category of energy harvesters are: 1- Intermittent output: since it harvests energy from the environment, the availability of output power depends on how frequent is the physical phenomenon being harvested. 2- Unregulated output: due to unpredictability of the output energy magnitude and frequency. 3- Very low output power: output power is low not just because the amount of energy being harvested is small, like that in human body motion or variation in air temperature, but also because of power losses in mechanical components and signal conditioning circuits. Since micro-energy harvesters are used to scavenge micro-energy from a physical phenomenon, thermal, light, motion...etc, they should be highly sensitive and highly efficient by minimizing the losses as much as possible.

Fig. 1 Phases of Energy harvesting process Scales of Energy Harvesting

It is now common in daily life to find energy harvesters in use, some can con-

RFID modules or wireless sensor networks, and sensors in hard to access places, where it is not feasible or practical to change batteries on a regular

Micro Energy Harvesting

In this section, techniques commonly deployed in micro-energy harvesting will be discussed. Three forms of energy ISSUE 4

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are the most commonly harvested forms of energy due to the availability of legacy technology or to their high efficiency and abundance. These are: - Thermal energy. - Solar energy. - Kinetic energy. Thermal energy is one of the most available sources of energy on earth found in air, human body, geothermal, and waste heat in fossil fuel based engines. The harvesting mechanism here is based on the “Seebeck effect”' (thermocouple).The theory of operation of the thermocouple is that heating two metals in contact at one end will develop potential difference between at the end where they are not in contact Figure 2. Due to developments in the technology of semiconductors and chemical processing, the size and efficiency of energy harvesters based on this form of energy have improved significantly. Solar energy is the most commonly harvested form of energy using photovoltaic cells to convert light photons to electrical energy. Kinetic energy can be harvested from the motion rotary machines, mechanical vibrations, and impact events. Energy Harvesting Transduction Mechanisms from Vibrations

This section discusses the transduction mechanisms used to convert mechanical vibrations to electrical energy. Piezoelectric: Piezoelectric materials develop potential difference along the surface of material when exposed to strain, inversely; a piezoelectric material stimulated by an external potential difference undergoes strain. The structure of most energy harvester 8

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Fig. 2 basic thermocouple design based on piezoelectric transduction involves a thin strip of piezoelectric material mounted on a simple cantilever beam exposed to vibrations, Figure 3. When the beam oscillates a potential difference develops along the opposite surfaces of the piezoelectric material. The output voltage amplitude is propor-

Q = C.V (1)

Capacitance is function of the surface area of the plates A exposed to each other and the separation distance d between them: C = εr εo

A (2) d

Fig. 3 Piezoelectric harvesters basic design structure tional to vibrations amplitude and the electromechanical coupling coefficients of the piezoelectric material. The output voltage of this kind of harvesters is relatively high which requires regulation using additional circuitry. Electrostatic: This mechanism harvests accumulated charges between the two conducting plates of a variable capacitor as it changes its capacitance. Electrostatic harvesting exploits the proportional relationship between quantity of charges Q on the two plates and capacitance C when the potential difference V across the plates is held constant:

A: exposed surface area between the two plates. d: separating distance between the two plates. εo : electric constant (8.854 x 10-12 F.m1) εr : dielectric constant for the dielectric (insulating) material between the two plates. Figure 4 illustrates the ways in which variable capacitors harvest electrical energy. Captured kinetic energy moves one of the two plates horizontally to change the exposed surface area and therefore capacitance. As a result, charges Q are collected and harvested as


V =−

dφ (3) dt

When a coil with N number of turns is used instead of a single turn conductor, the generated voltage in this case will be: V = −N

dφ (4) dt

where ϕ in this case will be the average magnetic flux per coil turn. For electromagnetic harvesting, kinetic energy is used to change the relative position of the coil with respect to the magnetic field source which varies magnetic flux as a function of displacement. Therefore, the output voltage can be expressed as:

Fig. 4 Basic idea of electrostatic energy/ harvesting kinetic energy keeps varying the position of the capacitor plates. The same process can also be induced when kinetic energy is used to change the separation distance between the two plates. Electrostatic energy harvesters are designed to exploit either of these motion patterns. Electromagnetic: Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction states that conductor moving across a magnetic field

will developed potential difference between its terminals as it cuts the magnetic field lines. This transduction mechanism is based on using kinetic energy to create relative motion between a conducting wire and a magnetic field, Figure 5. The voltage generated across the conductor terminals V is proportional to the rate of change of the magnetic flux linkage ϕ.

Fig. 5 Basic principle of electromagnetic induction

Vout = −N

dφ dx . (5) dt dt

where dx/dt is the rate of change of relative displacement, velocity, in the xdirection. We have reached the end of first part of the article and we shall resume the next issue a more detailed discussion about nature of mechanical vibrations and how VEH can be deployed to scavenge kinetic energy from them, explaining the main structures and models used for VEH design, introducing some of the well cited published designs, and finally other peripherals required to build a full power unit based on the VEH.

Dr. Eihab Abdel-Rahman. Associate Professor, Department of System Design Engineering, University of Waterloo Karim El-Rayes, MASc. PhD Student, Department of System Design Engineering, University of Waterloo ISSUE 4

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Technical

FPGA 9-1-1 (2) By: Muhammad Abdulghany

Welcome! This is the second episode of FPGA 911 series. In the previous episode, we got quick introduction about FPGA and the rapid adoption of FPGA in the design of new electronic products . In this episode, we will start going deep into digital design flow using FPGA. The design flow involves many activates and practices that a designer should follow to start and finish a design. We will use the design flow as a roadmap to tell you everything about FPGA. We will reinforce this with many design examples and tips just to make sure that all aspects of FPGA design are probably covered.

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Design Flow

FPGA is a programmable logic device, it use the similar modeling and design flow like those used in ASIC. Differences between ASIC and FPGA are usually related to design implementation stage, the toolset and concepts are quite different. Figure-1 shows a complete and generic FPGA design flow. Design Requirements

Design requirements are the seeds of any engineering work. First, you need to define what you need to do. This can be customer requirements or might be an idea came to your mind that have a market value. Usually design requirements are generic and do not tell the exact specifications required to start design implementation. An example of this is a customer came to your company and asks to design an industrial controller to manage an assembly line of some other product. A block diagram of a typical FPGA implementation of an industrial controller shown in figure -2. Design Specifications

Now you need to define the exact specifications of your design. Usually the exact specifications are ambiguous in very early design phase and requires some time for clarification. Design specifications defined by a thorough study of design requirements by experts in similar designs. Given the industrial controller example, we might need to define some important points like: 1- The capacity of the assembly line in terms of how many pieces it process per minute, hour, day, etc. 2- What are the controllable operations? Moreover, how should be controlled? 3- How many points the controller

Fig. 1: A complete and generic FPGA design flow between all system aspects? should concurrently control? 4- What are the feedbacks from the as- 6- How does site operator manage the controller? Will we need a user interface sembly line back to the controller? 5-What are the programmable features like a display, keyboard and such? and all relationships and dependencies

Fig. 2: A typical FPGA implementation of an industrial controller ISSUE 4

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7- Will the controller communicate to a central operations monitor using some standard industrial communication protocols as industrial Ethernet, fieldbus, CAN, etc.? Design Architecture

Once design specifications defined, a design architect needs to put the toplevel architecture of the design. A toplevel architecture is a non-trivial task and cannot skipped in any design. The top-level architecture requires very well understanding of many things like: 1- Cost. An architecture should implement required functionality with minimum complexity and resources. Complexity means extra logic, longer design time and difficult verification, all cost a lot of money. 2- Power consumption. An architecture should use minimum frequencies and area. 3- Target performance. An architecture should allow maximum performance with available resources and power budget. 4- Technology dependent features like embedded hard IPs inside FPGA. Always try to utilize all features in a device, if you are not using them then device utilization is low. This is not a good design practice. 5- System integration with other external components. Think about integrating your design with other standards and third party designs. Give the customer more freedom and simple integration so he comes to buy your products/services repeatedly. 6- Re-use of pre-designed IPs and components. Look inside your stock and make sure you are not re-inventing the wheel. In many cases, we can reuse oth12

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er design components with few or no changes. If a design architect does not know about company’s stock then he will come up with an architecture requires more an unjustified design efforts. 7- Scalability and future expansions. In most cases, a successful product redesigned many times to support more features and new standards. Think about an architecture that is capable to adopt new features and new standards seamlessly and with minimum efforts. 8- Implementation issues. Think about integration, multiple clock domains, expertise of design team, design tools, debugging complexity, and all those issues that might make your design architecture quite difficult to implement and maintain. A design architecture is a set of documents and schematics describe different design components, and integration of those components into a single design. The level of details given in an architecture document varies by design but in general, it describes the functionality of different components without digging into internal details. An architecture document might specify protocols and standards used in a design without too much of details regarding their implementation. Microarchitecture

Many engineers asking, what is the difference between architecture and microarchitecture in a digital design process? Microarchitecture is the detailed specification of each module/component within a top-level architecture. In a microarchitecture document, designer should specify: 1- Accurate specifications of the inter-

face of each component. This includes pin names, pin function, buses widths, timing diagrams, allowed and non-allowed inputs/outputs combinations, etc. 2- Specifications of logic structure, pipelining stages, state machines, buffers, memories, etc. that are internal to any component in the design. 3- Algorithms implemented inside design component and implementation notes like possibility to sacrifice some accuracy in order to optimize area, power, speed or all. 4- Performance requirements like minimum or maximum allowed clock frequency, required throughput, etc. 5- Components integration requirements like any required glue logic, handshaking, synchronization between multiple clock domains, etc. 6- Any reference documents or reference designs that a designer can utilize to help him implementing required design. Algorithm Development

In case that a custom algorithm required for designing a specific function or featuring in a system, then a designer might need to develop this custom algorithm using mathematical analysis, MATLAB, electronics simulation packages, etc. You should always use such kind of algorithm development techniques and do all required analysis before starting a real design implementation. Many designers skip this and start endless trials directly on FPGA and in most cases they fail to end a design on time moreover they never get the best design possibilities.


Fig. 3: Example of PID modeling in MATLAB. An example of algorithm development will help you precisely analyze all sys- oping things like bus connections and is setting coefficients of PID digital con- tem variables and states with fewer ef- other peripherals and delay custom altroller. To accurately set them, you will forts than doing this yourself in a lower gorithms development until they proved need to model all environment and sys- level verification environment. in a system model. tem parameters in a modeling tool like 3- Usually system modeling tools and MATLAB or LabView and analyze your languages have huge libraries of com- Conclusion controller response to make sure there ponents and modules that you can use In this episode we started to explain are no scenarios or conditions can cause to quickly model your system and try FPGA design flow in details. In the very a serious system failure. many different design options in a early stages, FPGA design flow is very shorter development time. Doing the similar to a general digital design flow. System Modeling same in HDL or embedded language We will continue using the design flow System modeling is the stage in which consumes a lot of time and has very as a roadmap to explain all aspects of you are using a high abstraction level to lower yield. typical FPGA design. Wait for the next model and analyze your system design 4- In most cases, coefficients and para- episode as will start talking about design before going to implement it on the tar- meters that you will use in a design are entry and how your coding style could get. With the increased complexity and fixed however choosing the correct val- affect your design quality and the whole the significant increase in design cost, ues requires some kind of tuning and project feasibility. Stay tuned! it’s a good practice to spend enough trials. A system model will enable you to time trying to fix all system issues in a vary different system parameters Muhammad Abdulghany system model before moving to behavi- quickly and analyze results before going Digital Design Manager oral or a prototype based verification. to hard code them in your actual design. Silicon Vision LLC There are many reasons for doing that It is known by experienced designers including: that a well-developed system model can 1- A high abstraction language/environ- safe days of implementing designs using ment like MATLAB, Labview or C/C++ wrong algorithms and architectures. In is easier to develop and debug than a most cases, a system model can be delow-level abstraction like HDL or em- veloped in parallel to other system bedded programming. design tasks. For example, if we are sure 2- Tools like MATLAB or Labview have that a microcontroller is required in a numerous set of visualization tools that certain design then we can start develISSUE 4

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Operating Systems Porting Technical

By: Amr Ali What is Porting?

The process of adapting SW so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally created. In PC world, porting is not rare because: • x86 is the dominant CPU architecture • Windows or UNIX flavors are the dominant operating systems. • International standards like ISO and POSIX facilitate seamless running of the software. In embedded world, porting is a significant issue. This is natural because embedded systems are custom by nature. Layered Architecture and Porting

Any embedded system can be seen as a set of layers interacting together from the application layer down to the hardware layer passing by middleware or lib-

raries, operating system if exists, and finally the device drivers layer. To have a solid layered architecture, it should be strict. In other words, a layer can only communicate with the layer just beneath through function calls or with the upper layer just above it through callbacks. This is necessary to increase the cohesion and decrease the coupling in our system design though it might impact performance. To understand the relation between the layered architecture and porting, let’s imagine that we suddenly changed the operating system layer. Consequently, the middleware or libraries layer has to be changed to adapt to the change. This is called middleware or libraries porting. By having a complete look on figure 2; it is easy to conclude the other types of porting.

It is worth noting that as the lower the layer to be changed, the harder the porting process. OS Porting

OS porting is the most difficult type of porting, as it requires solid knowledge of the OS internals as well as the subtleties of the hardware. Moreover, there are different types of OS porting. Architecture OS porting is the most difficult type of OS porting. Because the main task of the OS is to support multitasking, architecture OS porting is concerned with modifying the dispatcher code to support the context switching specific to that architecture. The issue becomes more complicated of the OS is process based as the dispatcher code should handle the memory management unit issues as well.

Figure 1: Windows and Mac are 2 different environments. Porting is needed if the software is running on one of them and there is a need to make it run on the other environment. 14

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Figure 2: Layered architecture and different types of porting in embedded systems Moreover, architecture OS porting must take into account the exceptions handling issues like nesting and OS preemption that is specific to that architecture. Architecture OS porting becomes a nightmare when knowing that the OS’s kernel is microkernel and not a monolithic one. The other type of OS porting is called board porting. After the OS has been ported to the new architecture, it should understand the on-chip and off-chip peripherals attached my main CPU. In other words, develop the drivers for the OS to understand the devices connected to my board. Board OS porting has two subtypes; basic board porting and board support package. The basic board porting scope is to verify the proper board operation with the minimal set of peripherals. The minimal set can be the memory devices, the interrupt controller unit, the clocking circuits, dedicated hardware timer, and an IO device like UART. The board support package scope is developing all the device drivers for my board as well as the bootloader. The

minimal BSP can be considered the basic board porting. Porting Rules

The first rule in porting is no rule. After reading the porting guide of your OS and referring to your architecture documentation, in most of the cases porting engineers do choices that violate what is in the OS porting guide. As a case study, I advice taking uCOS-II

developed by Micrium incorporation as an example and try porting it over x86 architecture as well as ARM cortex-M architecture. To get started with that exercise, please refer to porting uCOS-II presentation and to ports on Micrium website.

Amr Ali Embedded Systems Engineer http://embedded-tips.blogspot.com

Figure 3: Type of OS porting ISSUE 4

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State of the Art

Cell Phones Evolution:

From Dyna-TAC 8000X to iphone 5 By: Essam Sobhy Abstract

Neither D.H. Ring and W.R. young who articulated a true cellular radio system for mobile telephony in an internal company memorandum in bell laboratories in 1947, nor Martin Cooper who invented the first cell phone in 1973 (often called the father of the mobile phone) could have imagined the impact of the technology they envisioned on our today’s lives. Cellular communications have become an essential component of our lives. The new generations have reached a point where they cannot even imagine life without a cell phone. The mobile phone (or cell phone) transformed from being a means of voice communications only (which is what it was invented for) into a companion device that connects one person with the whole word via text messaging, internet access, and social 16

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networking. This tremendous development in cellular phone technology and in users’ demands had great impact on major engineering decisions in its development. In this article, we highlight the development of the cellular phone from 1973 to 2012. The purpose of this article is to highlight the advancement in many elements of technology which enabled today’s smartphones.

He stated that 1947 Bell teams had faith

A brief history of cell phones

In December of 1947 Bell Laboratories’ D.H. Ring, with help from W.R. Young, articulated a true cellular radio system for mobile telephony in an internal company memorandum [1][2]. Young said later that all the cellular radio elements were known: a network of small geographical areas called cells, a base station transmitter in each, cell traffic controlled by a central switch, frequencies reused by different cells and so on.

Figure 1: Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first private handheld mobile phone call on a larger prototype model in 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007.


that the means for administering and connecting too many small cells would evolve by the time they were needed [1][3]. These concepts did not come into practice until the 1980’s when cellular phones were developed. Despite the earlier attempts by the Nordic Telephone Group (in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway) in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Motorola was the first to succeed in implementing an automated handheld cell phone [1]. Cell phones were available before in vehicles and trains but not handheld [1]. On October 17 in 1973, Motorola filed a patent for its own cellular radio system [4]. Martin Cooper, the father of mobile phone, and his team which included Motorola's industrial design director, Rudy Krolopp, completed Motorola’s first prototype cellular phone and its base station and they called their competitors at Bell Laboratories for a demo to demonstrate in a very practical manner who had won [5]. Figure 1 shows Dr. Martin Cooper holding the 1973 prototype phone in a forum in Taiwan in 2007. That prototype was a “brick like” phone that weighed about 30 ounces (about 850.5 grams). It took 10 more years for this phone to be introduced to the market as the first commercial cell phone under the name DynaTAC 8000X in March of 1983. Dyna-TAC was an abbreviation for “Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage.” It was 330.2 x 44.45 x 88.9 millimeters in diFigure 2: Motorola Dyna TAC 8000X cellular Phone, known as the Cellular Brick

mensions (length x width x thickness) and weighed about 794 grams. It featured a 9-digit LED display and had memory to store 30 dialing numbers. It offered 30 minutes of talk time, eight hours of stand-by time, and took 10 hours to recharge. It was offered for about $3995. It operated on the 800MHz FM analog mobile cellular service (AMPS) technology. Figure 2 shows

x 208 pixels resolution. It offered features such as text messaging and internet browsing via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) technology that enabled packet communications (similar to internet protocols) on the circuit switching network of GSM. From a radio perspective, it supported four GSM bands and featured Bluetooth connectivity and FM radio. In addition, it

Figure 3: Evolution of Cellular phones from Motorola Dyna-TAC 8000x to Apple iphone 5 passing by the smallest cell phone ever (Nokia 7280) a photo for the Dyna-TAC 8000X. Since 1983, cell phones went through tremendous evolution from a voice calling device to a smartphone with features such as internet browsing and self-positioning using GPS technology. In the next section we quickly review this transition. Evolution of Cell Phones

Since 1983, with the appearance of the first commercial cell phone, the main design trend for years was how to reduce the size, weight and price of the cell phone. In 2004, Nokia revealed the smallest cell phone ever, the 7280 shown in Figure 3. It weighed 85 grams and was as small as a lip stick, and that’s why it was also known as the lipstick phone. It had no keyboard and used a small LCD display that has 16 colors and 104

had 50MB of internal memory (good for 1000 entries) and an integrated 0.3 MP (mega-pixel) digital camera with no zoom capabilities. The battery offered 3 hours of talk time and 240 hours of standby time [7]. It is interesting to observe the advancement in 20 years from the brick-like Dyna-TAC 8000X that supported only voice communications on a single 800MHz band and a single AMPS mode with a memory for 30 numbers only and 9 digits discrete LED display, to the 2004 Nokia 7280. After 8 years, today we have apple iphone 5, the thinnest smartphone in the world which is also shown in Figure 3. Interestingly, dimensions are bigger than Nokia 7280. Its dimensions are 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, but weighs about 112 grams only. It supports 7 frequency bands ranging from 700MHz to 2100MHz in different ISSUE 4

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modes, namely GSM (called 2G which stands for 2nd generation technology), CDMA, Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA or 3G), High-Speed Packet access (HSPA or 3.5G), and Long Term Evolution (LTE or 4G). In addition, it features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and GPS receiver. Regarding storage, it offers from 16GB up to 64GB Flash memory. It employs a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB RAM. It has a 4 inch LED-backlit display (10cm in diagonals) with 640 x 1136 pixels of resolution (about 326 ppi or pixels per inch). With no keypad, the user input is via the capacitive touchscreen. The integrated camera is 8MP with autofocus and LED flash. The battery offers 8 hours of talk time and up to 225 hours of standby time. In addition to all that, the iphone, like many other smartphones, has the following sensors: Accelerometer, gyrometer, proximity, and compass [8]. One thing to notice is: the trend is no more to reduce size only. Since for some users, the smartphone is a media hub, the screen has to be large enough. In addition, with all this functionality the battery has to be large enough. The challenge now is how thin the phone can be with all the possible integrated functionality.

Figure 4: Example of an on-board microstrip antenna used on Nokia 8260 phone Dyna-TAC to internal patch microstrip dense components that operate at relatantennas implemented on the printed ively high power (like the power amplicircuit boards [9] which were first in- fier in the transmitter) required troduced by Nokia in their 8810 model innovation in the phone thermodythat appeared in 1998. Figure 4 shows namics to develop efficient and minian example of such an antenna on a ature cooling (or heat dissipating) Nokia 8260 phone that appeared in techniques [11]. 1999. Motorola engineers had a mindset that “Antennas do not follow Moore’s Battery technology law ” and they got stuck with exterior Advances in battery technology were long antennas. Nokia engineers under- essential to enable smaller light-weight stood that antennas don’t shrink in size batteries that have longer lifetime. In the but they were innovative in finding a 1980’s, cell phones used Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries which were very way to fold it inside the phone [10]. bulky and required long time to recharge. They needed special casing beThermal design From a mechanical design perspective, cause of the toxic nature of Cadmium. the thermal energy dissipation of the They heated up and due to that they

Technology Advances: enabling a cell phone evolution

That The evolution of cell phones involved many technological advances in different domains. In the following we highlight some of these advances. Antenna design

Antenna design transformed from the long (about 200mm) conventional monopole antenna in the Motorola 18

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Figure 5: Comparison of cell phone batteries: (Left) Nokia Lithium ion BLB-2 890mAh battery used in 8260 phone (Right) Lithium Polymer ion 3.8V 1440mAh battery used in Apple iphone 5


changed shape by time. The worst of its disadvantages is the memory effect which meant that it had to be fully used up before recharge, otherwise it remembers the last shortened charge cycle and last for less time [12]. In 1998, Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries became commercial. They were thinner and lighter, got rid of the toxic cadmium, and took less time to recharge [12]. On the other hand, they still suffered from the memory effect. Lithium ion technology (introduced in 2000s) revolutionized the battery performance and enabled pocket-sized phones. They offered 30% longer talk time than NiMH batteries and got rid of the memory effect [12] [13]. Therefore it did not need a full discharge before recharging. Since 2008, Lithium Poly ion technology is widely used in smartphones because of their better capacity (40% better than NiMH of same size) [12][13]. More importantly, it doesn’t need a cell casing which makes it very light [12]. Despite the great advances in battery technology, batteries in today’s smartphones are bigger than those used in earlier cell phones. This is because smartphones offer a lot more features that require more battery capacity. Figure 5 compares Nokia8260 Li Ion battery to apple iphone 5 Li Polymer Ion battery which is thinner but quite longer. One may argue that battery technology will still work on shrinking battery size. From a physical design perspective, there may be no need for that given that the phone size is now set by the minimum display size that satisfies a smartphone user. The challenge will probably be increasing the battery capacity in mAh (milliamperes per hour) for the same size.

Figure 6: Revealing printed circuit boards of cell phones (Left) Nokia 8260 (Right) Apple iphone 5 In the 1990s, different mobile systems were deployed around the globe. In addition to 800MHz AMPS, North AmerIntegrated circuit (IC) Design Technoica adopted GSM (Global System for logy mobile Communications) and CDMA The electronic communications section (Code Division Multiple Access) techof a cell phone has gone from almost nologies both in the 800MHz and entirely discrete implementations to a 1900MHz bands. Europe had a wide few chip solutions today. These chips deployment of GSM already in the include the radio transceiver (still needs 900MHz and 1800MHz, and Japan used some external components), the power their digital PDC standard starting 1994 amplifier, the baseband modem, and the in the 800MHz and 1.5GHz bands [1]. application processor. This would have Accordingly, a cell phone purchased in not happened if it were not for the great North America would probably may not advances in the low-cost CMOS technowork in Europe and Middle East and logy. The tremendous increase in tranvice versa. This variety of frequency sistor speeds and shrinking sizes enable bands and systems generated the need multi-million transistor ICs that can for a multi-band and multimode phone. perform hundreds of thousands of opThe first multiband phone was a quaderations every second. Today, smartband GSM phone that can operate in phones carry multicore processors that the 4 GSM bands 800MHz (called celcan handle operations as complicated lular), 900MHz (called E-GSM), and as powerful as personal computers. 1800MHz (called DCS) and 1900MHz In fact, CMOS technology revolution(called PCS). Today, transceiver chips ized radio design in the last decade [14] have to support 20 bands or even more and enabled circuit architectures that in different modes (2G, 3G, and 4G) in led to today’s integrated on-chip soluorder to cover cellular services over the tions. One of the main advances in raglobe. Figure 6 compares the printed dio design was integrating multi-band circuit boards for the 1999 Nokia 8260 functionality on the same transceiver quad-band Dual-mode (2G/3G) phone chip. In the early days, phones used to and the 2012 multiband multimode operate on a single frequency band and iphone 5 (both sides are shown). A support a single system. For example quick look on the two phones concludes the Motorola Dyna-TAC supported only that the number of chips on the iphone the 800MHz band for AMPS systems. ISSUE 4

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5 is more. This is because it supports new functions such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity which come on a separate transceiver chip. This chip is usually a combo chip that also has FM radio and GPS receiver. The touchscreen requires a controller chip, and the same for all the sensors. Without today’s integration capabilities of CMOS technology, the iphone 5 may not be there or may has been as big as the 1983 Motorola Dyna-TAC. Another thing to notice in Figure 6 is that some chips on iphone 5 are quite bigger in size than the ones in Nokia 8260. That’s a design trend we find today: integrating more functions on a larger single chip is cheaper than having divided functionality between many smaller chips and external components. This is because board area is more expensive than onchip area, and from IC manufacturing and testing perspective one larger chip is cheaper than many smaller chips. This tells us that in the future, we expect many of the separate controllers on the board to be integrated on single chips. Also, we expect integration of the baseband processor and the application processor . Although there are still many discrete components on the iphone 5 board, they seem much less in numbers than the ones on the Nokia 8260 board. This is thanks to advances in CMOS technology that enabled new circuit architectures that avoid the use of many external components. This is also due to the advances in discrete component technology which led to the integration of many external components into modules. For example, radio transceivers require off-chip radio frequency (RF) filters for every supported band. Today, filter manufacturers can 20

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integrate many of these filters in one smaller module in order to reduce the on-board area. References

[1] Tom Farley, “Mobile telephone history, “ Online: www.privateline.com/archive/TelenorPage_022-034.pdf [2] Roessner, D et al. The Role of NSF’s Support of Engineering in Enabling Technological Innovation: Phase II, Chapter 4: The Cell Phone. Final report to the National Science Foundation. Arlington, Virginia: SRI International, 89, 1998. citing Ring, D H, “Mobile Telephony – Wide Area Coverage,” Bell Laboratories Technical Memorandum, December 11, 1947. Online: http://www.sri.com/policy/stp/techin2/ch p4.html [3] Young, W R. Advanced Mobile Phone Service: Introduction, Background, and Objectives. Bell System Technical Journal, 7 January, 1979. [4] Martin Cooper et al.,“Radio telephone system,” US Patent Number 3,906,166, granted September 16, 1975. [5] Ferranti, M. Father of Cell Phone Eyes a Revolution. IDG News Service, New York Bureau, 14 (31), October 12, 1999 [6] Online Article: http://www.retrobrick.com/moto8000.html [7] Online Reference: http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_7280-884.php [8] Online Reference: http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone_5-4910.php [9] G. Breed, “The Fundamentals of Patch Antenna Design and Performance,” High frequency Electronics, pp. 49-51, March 2009. [10] Mathew Honan , “Hide the Antenna Inside the Cell Phone,”Online art-

icle: http://www.wired.com/culture/design/magazine/17-03/dp_cellphone [11] Simons, R.E., “Application of thermoelectric cooling to electronic equipment: a review and analysis,” Sixteenth Annual IEEE Symposium on Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management, pp 1-9, March 2000. [12] Nokia Nseries, “Power up! The amazing evolution of the cellphone battery,” May 25th, 2011. Online Article: http://conversations.nokia.com/2011/05/25/power-upthe-amazing-evolution-of-the-cellphone-battery/ [13] Charlie White, “From Brick to Slick: 38 Years of Cellphone Evolution [Infographic],” October 2011, Online Article: http://mashable.com/2011/10/13/cellphone-evolution-infographic/ [14] A. Abidi, “RF CMOS comes of Age,” IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 39, pp. 549-561, Issue no. 4, April 2004. Figure 1 is according to Wikimedia Commons/Rico Shen. Photograh taken in a forum in Taipei International Convention Center Figure 2 is according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DynaT AC8000X.jpg Figure 4, 5 and 6 are Courtesy of http://www.ifixit.com

Essam S. Atalla Ph.D. Student, Department of Electrical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas


State of the Art

Current Trends in RF and Microwave Integrated Circuits Research

Why do we need Ultra-wideband? (2)

By: Osama Haraz

Example of UWB Beamforming systems

Beamforming techniques can be generally classified into two main categories: conventional (fixed) beamforming techniques and modern (adaptive) techniques. The fixed beamforming technique is considered to be a simple technique to improve the system performance. Switched-beam antenna (SBA) systems are defined as antenna array systems that can generate multiple fixed beams with increased performance. Many different structures of multi-beam network beamformers have been proposed such as the Blass matrix, the Nolen matrix, the Rotman lens, and the Butler matrix. Butler matrix is considered to be the popular network among these beamformers. This is because of its simple design and ease of implementation and testing as shown in Fig. 5 (a). A Butler matrix consists of a passive N×N phased antennaarray network that has the ability to steer the main beam in the desired direction and/or to form nulls in the direction of strong interference or jamming. Practically, it consists of a combination of both hybrid couplers and phase shifters. The type of hybrid couplers used in its implementation determines the type of Butler matrix which can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical network. If the Butler matrix uses quadrature or 90°hybrids, the network becomes symmetrical while the asymmetric one uses out-of-phase or 180° hybrids. Fig. 5(b) shows the developed 4×4 butterflyshaped UWB Butler beamforming system using 3dB/90° hybrid couplers and 45° phase shifters of butterfly shapes on microstrip PCB multi-layered technology. ISSUE 4

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Example of RF Transceiver for IR­ UWB systems

An example of a fully integrated impulse response-ultra-wideband (IR-UWB) transceiver is presented in [12]. The small size of UWB transmitters is a requirement for inclusion in today’s consumer electronics. The main arguments for the small size of UWB transmitters and receivers are due to the reduction of passive components. However, antenna size and shape is another factor that needs to be considered. Ultra-wideband antennas are considered in the next article. Among the most important advantages of UWB technology are those of low system complexity and low cost. Ultra-wideband systems can be made nearly “all-digital”, with minimal RF or microwave electronics. The low component count leads to reduced cost, and smaller chip sizes invariably lead to lowcost systems. The simplest UWB transmitter could be assumed to be a pulse generator, a timing circuit, and an antenna.

Fig. 5 (a) Schematic block diagram of Butler beamforming system [11]

Example of 60 GHz UWB Trans­ ceiver systems

Fig. 5 (b) photograph of the developed 4×4 UWB Butler beamforming system [11]

The use of microwave frequencies (3.1–10.6 GHz) for ultra-wideband (UWB) systems is actually subject of intensively research. According to the definition of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), UWB is not limited to the frequency range 3.1–10.6 GHz. The FCC defines UWB as "any radio technique that has a bandwidth exceeding 500 MHz or greater than 25% of its center frequency”. In recent years, an on-going research is carried out to use this special technology into millimeterwave (MMW) frequencies (frequencies between 30 GHz and 300 GHz) for the 22

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Fig. 6 (a) Block diagram


development of wireless communications: unlicensed short-range (57 - 64 GHz), outdoor semi-unlicensed point to point links (71 - 76 GHz, 81 - 86 GHz, and 92 - 95 GHz), automotive radar (76 - 77 GHz), and imaging sensor (84 - 89 GHz and 94 GHz) systems. Fig. 7 shows an example of a UWB wireless transceiver system working in V-band (60 GHz) [14]. The system parameters’ are as follows: transmitted LO power = -25 dBm, amplifier gain (A) = +20 dB, and an antenna transmitting gain (GT) = 10 dBi. These values are been intentionally chosen in order to obtain a transmitted signal power equal to 10 dBm (allowed by FCC for V-band communications system). The antenna receiving gain is +10 dBi, the low noise amplifier (LNA) gain is +20 dB, so the six-port input signal power has a value of -38 dBm. The six port model used here consists of four 90° hybrid couplers interconnected by transmission lines and four power detectors, as shown in Fig. 8(a) [15]. This circuit is integrated on a 125 μm alumina substrate having a relative permittivity of 9.9, using a Miniature Hybrid Microwave Integrated Circuit (MHMIC) technology. Fig. 8(b) shows several microphotographs of the MHMIC 90º hybrid couplers. The diameter of the coupler is around 700 μm and the 50 Ω line width is nearly equal to the thickness of the alumina substrate. In order to characterize these circuits, on-wafer measurements are performed using a Microtech probe station connected to a millimeter-wave precision network analyzer (PNA).

Fig. 6 (b) Microphotograph Diagram of an example of a IR-UWB Transceiver Chipset Using Self-Synchronizing on off keying (OOK) Modulation (90nm CMOS) [13]

Fig. 7 An example of a 60 GHz UWB transceiver system [14] and hence to have a noise-like signal UWB Applications There are many potential applications spectrum which makes them good at for the UWB new emerging technology mitigating severe multipath fading enthat can be used in recent personal and vironments, strong interference and commercial communication systems, jamming. Some radar applications such vehicular radar systems, and imaging as positioning, geo-location, localization systems such as ground-penetrating and tracking objects require excellent radar, wall-imaging systems, medical time-domain resolution and high acsystems, and surveillance systems. UWB curacy which can be achieved by using systems have shown a number of no- UWB systems rather than conventional ticeable features compared to other ex- NB systems. For Wireless Personal Area isting conventional NB systems. One of Networks (WPANs) environments, those features is less complexity of UWB technology is an excellent soluUWB systems compared to convention- tion for the ultra high-speed data seral NB systems. Another feature is their vices up to 500 Mega bit per second (Mbps). These speeds can be greatly low cost which becomes very attractive for commercial communications applic- increased by using antenna arrays inations. Because the available power level stead of single antenna element and diffor UWB systems is very low for FCC ferent beamforming techniques legal operation, this enables them to work very close to the noise floor level . ISSUE 4

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Fig. 8 (a) Six-Port block diagram

Fig. 8(b) MHMIC 90º hybrid coupler [15] 1- Positioning, geo-Location, localization: • Accurate positioning •High multipath environments •Obscured environments 2- Radar/sensor applications: •Vehicular, marine, GPR •Imaging, wall-imaging, STTW •Surveillance systems 3- Communications: •High multipath environments •Send data at a very low power •Short range communications •High data rates > 500Mbps (very fast) Accurate positioning 24

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References:

[1] FCC, “First report and order, revision of part 15 of the commission's rules regarding ultra-wideband transmission systems FCC," 2002. [2] M.-G. di Benedetto, T. Kaiser, A. F. Molisch, I. Oppermann, C. Politano, and D. Porcino (eds.), UWB Communications Systems: A Comprehensive Overview: Hindawi, 2006. [3] Y. M. Kim, “Ultra Wide Band (UWB) Technology and Applications,"technical report, NEST group The Ohio State University, July 10, 2003. [4] M. Ghavami, L. Michael, and R. Kohno, Ultra Wideband Signals and Systems in Communication Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, 2004. [5] A. Batra et al., “Multi-Band OFDM Physical Layer Propos-


Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

Radar and imagery exploitation system

Home-networking communications

Sense-through-the-wall (STTW) imager ISSUE 4

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Coastal surveillance al,” Document IEEE 802.15-03/267r2, 2003. [6] H. Kikuchi. UWB arrives in Japan. Nikkei Electronics, pages 95–122, February 2003. [7] M. Z. Win and R. A. Scholtz, “On the energy capture of ultra-wide bandwidth signals in dense multipath environments,” IEEE Comm. Lett., vol. 2, no. 9, pp. 245–247, Sep. 1998. [8] A. F. Molisch, "Ultrawideband propagation channels - theory, measurement, and modeling," IEEE Trans. Veh. Technol., vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 1528–1545, Sept. 2005. [9] Beamforming Boosts the Range and Capacity of WiMAX Networks, white paper of Fujitsu Microelectronics America, Inc., July 2008. [10] R. J. Mailloux, Phased Array Antenna Handbook, Artech, Boston, second edition, 2005. [11] Osama Ahmed, “Ultra-wideband Antennas and Components for Wireless Communication Systems”, PhD Thesis, 2011. [12] Xia, L.; Shao, K.; Chen, H. et al. (2010). 0.15-nJ/b 3-5GHz IR-UWB system with spectrum tunable transmitter and merged-correlator noncoherent receiver, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 59, No. 4, April 2011, pp. 1147-1156 [13] L. E. Miller, “Why UWB? A Review of Ultrawideband Technology", National Institute of Standards and Technology, MA, Tech. Rep., April 2003. [14] Tatu, S.O. and Denidni, T.A. Millimeter-Wave Six-Port Heterodyne Receiver Concept. IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium. San Fransisco, California. 2006. 26

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[15]Tatu, S.O.; Moldovan, E.; & Affes, S. Low-Cost Tranceiver Architectures for 60 GHz Ultra Wideband WLANs. EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communication and Networking. Vol. 2009. Article ID 382695. 6 pages. 2009.

Dr. Osama Haraz, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada


VLSI Egypt Corner

VLSI Egypt Activity Summary Events and Seminars Activity

2012 Events 1. Hardware Emulators Technology Introduction to high-performance, high-capacity hardware assisted emulators and get through the general concepts of functional verification using emulators. • Held on: Saturday 24th of November 2012, Time: 3:30 PM till 5:30 PM • Venue: Bibliotheca Alexandrina Presenter: Dr. Khaled Salah, Technical Lead at the Emulation division at Mentor Graphic, Egypt 2. Does your computer know how to add The seminar is a general introduction to the field of computer arithmetic targeted to interested faculty members, serious teaching assistants, enthusiastic students, and anyone else who wants to learn about this topic! • Held on: Monday Dec 17, 2012, Time:12:30 PM • Venue: Cairo University Presenter: Dr. Hossam Fahmy, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), German University in Cairo, post and undergraduate lecturer at Cairo University. 3. The “RE”-Evolution in IC Scaling and Manufacturing present an overview of IC scaling and manufacturing challenges and solutions over the past 50 years, and discuss novel solutions that enable transistor scaling to 22nm, 14nm, 11nm, and possibly beyond. These solutions include: nanolithography (including immersion lithography, double/multiple patterning, EUV, and E-beam lithography), and the evolution in the transistor structure (such as strained Si, HKMG, and FinFets). I conclude with a look at future challenges and trends. • Held on: 22nd, of December, Time 12:30-3:00 PM • Venue: Ain Shams University Presenter: Rami Fathy, World-wide Program Manager, IC Yield Enhancement Services, Mentor Graphics, Canada

2013 Events 1. Spur-Free Switching Power Converters for Analog and RF Loads This presentation will discuss various power conversion techniques that are commonly used for powering noise-sensitive analog/RF loads and the advantages and shortcomings of each of them. The presentation will then introduce the results of recent research activities at PMRL that focus on the development of RF-friendly switching power converters for direct powering of noise-sensitive analog/RF loads. We propose a new switching mechanism for buck converters that completely eliminates periodic switching noise at the output of the converter, leading to a spur-free operation. This enables powering noise sensitive RF PAs directly from buck converters without compromising mixing or interference specifications. Moreover, the proposed switching mechanism leads to better SoC integration, effective power supply rail sharing, and significant reduction in EMI. The theoretical basis along with experimental results of the proposed design will also be discussed. Dr. Fayed has many publications and patents in the field and has authored a book in the area of adaptive systems titled “Adaptive Techniques for Mixed Signal System On Chip” • Held on: January 2nd, 2013, Time: 3:00 pm • Venue: AUC Presenter: Dr. Ayman Fayed, Assistant Professor, Director, Power Management Research Lab (PMRL) Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 2. Robots Moving Closer to Humans This talk revisits 50 years and more of research and development in robotics and provides the active trends and perspectives of the field. • Held on: Wednesday January 2, 2013, Time: 6:00PM • Venue: Nile University Presenter: Bruno Siciliano ISSUE 4

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Professor of Control and Robotics, and Director of the PRISMA Lab in the Department of Computer and Systems Engineering at University of Naples Federico II

3. Spur-Free Switching Power Converters for Analog and RF Loads The presentation will then introduce the results of recent research activities at PMRL that focus on the development of RF-friendly switching power converters for direct powering of noise-sensitive analog/RF loads. We propose a new switching mechanism for buck converters that completely eliminates periodic switching noise at the output of the converter, leading to a spur-free operation. This enables powering noise sensitive RF PAs directly from buck converters without compromising mixing or interference specifications. Moreover, the proposed switching mechanism leads to better SoC integration, effective power supply rail sharing, and significant reduction in EMI. The theoretical basis along with experimental results of the proposed design will also be discussed. • Held on: January 5th, 2013, Time: 5:30 pm • Venue: Faculty of Engineering - Ain Shams University Presenter: Dr. Ayman Fayed, Assistant Professor, Director, Power Management Research Lab (PMRL), Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 4. Multicore ... Manycore ... Many Challenges in Computer Architecture This talk is discussing how does the future look like in computing? What are the challenges? We are already in a turning point in computing history, and this talk will try to shade some light on it. • Held on: Tuesday the 15th of Jan, Time: 11am • Venue: AUC Presenter: Dr. Mohamed Zahran, senior member of IEEE , senior member of ACM, and Sigma, Xi scientific honor society. Upcoming Events Introduction to Embedded Systems By Eng, Amr Ali Abdel-Naby, Embedded Systems Developer www.embedded-tips.blogspot.com Planning to be in Ain Shams university or the AUC 28

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Creative Minds Activity

Creative Minds targets to deliver to its members hands on experiences, through a set of projects that are either industry related or aim to provide practical experiences to theories studied throughout the college years. It has recently been observed that students and fresh graduates are faced with difficulties in the following areas: • Fear of starting to learn new concepts through practical projects. • Lack of practical experiences to theoretical concepts studied through the college years. • In-efficient design skills used while designing the solution for a given problem during project implementation. Projects will be split amongst the following electrical engineering tracks: Analog IC, Digital IC, PCB and Embedded Systems Note: Tracks will be included, based on the mentor’s availability . Enrollment to the available tracks will be in batches(around three months each). Whereby each track will have its own technical mentor that will hold responsible to provide: • Description of the project to be implemented. • Continuous mentorship throughout the project lifecycle. This activity launched on a small scale in August 2011 and continued till the start of the college semester. Each track included around 10 members and was mentored by Eng/ Wael Abdullah for the RF/Microwave track and Eng /Shereef Younan for the embedded track. The official launch is during this month and will include the following tracks: 1)RF/Microwave track mentored by Eng/Wael Abdullah. 2)Digital design mentored by Eng/Mahmoud El Kashef. Digital Video Library Activity

We start by collecting video material from speakers in different occasions; lectures, seminars, tutorials, or any VLSI related events. Next we edit those videos to make them fit for publishing on the web. Finally we upload them on our YouTube Channel which is linked to the website. We aim to have a large collection of these videos on our website which will enable engineers or students who weren’t able to attend these occasions to follow up.


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Reserve your area now in the Sponsors Corner Sponsors Corner

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VLSI Egypt Magazine Issue 4