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Spring 2013  No.23
Four Studies Showcased at "Chip Olympics" 2013

A remarkable four papers from the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering were presented at the prestigious IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference ISSCC 2013(also known as the "Chip Olympics"), held from February 17-21 in San Francisco, US.

The conference is the premier forum for the presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. It is regarded as an honor for a university to have one paper accepted at this event where global industry leaders, including Intel, IBM and Sony, discuss their latest chips and designs. To have two Digest and two Student Research Preview papers accepted in a single year is an unprecedented demonstration of the quality of work being carried out by the Department.

PhD student Cheng Huang's paper showcased "An 82.4% Efficiency Package-Bondwire-Based Four-Phase Fully Integrated Buck Converter with Flying Capacitor for Area Reduction". This is the first converter of its kind to achieve high current density and high efficiency without any additional off-chip inductors and capacitors. On-chip capacitor reduction is achieved by a novel flying capacitor technique. The paper was supervised by Prof Philip K T Mok.

Another paper, "A 13.56MHz Fully Integrated 1X/2X Active Rectifier with Compensated Bias Current for Inductively Powered Devices", by PhD students Yan Lu and Xing Li, presented the first fully integrated 13.56MHz 1X/2X active rectifier in the 30mW range with all capacitors fabricated on-chip. It employs a novel switching arrangement that effectively reduces capacitor area, and an innovative biasing scheme that helps to reduce reverse current to enhance efficiency. Prof W H Ki, Prof C Y Tsui and Prof Patrick Yue co-supervised the paper.

In addition to the Digest presentations, two Student Research Preview papers were delivered at the conference. The first paper was by Li Sun (visiting PhD student), Yipeng Wang (PhD), Alex Pan (PhD), Robin Hou (MPhil), Yan Lu (PhD) and Prof Patrick Yue and focused on "A 26-Gb/s Optical Receiver Front-End in 65nm CMOS". The second was by PhD student Jing Guo and Prof George Yuan in the area of bio-medical sensing circuitry. Preview sessions are organized as short presentations of works-in-progress in conjunction with a poster presentation and optional demo.

Prof W H Ki also gave a tutorial on "Design of Voltage References" at the conference.