A 2-day short-course titled “Selected Topics in Mixed-signal IC Design” was facilitated by Circuits & Systems Research group (CSRC) within the Dept. of Electronics and Computer Engineering, University of Limerick (UL) on the 24th/25th June 2019 at the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) building. The course instructor was Prof. David A. Johns for the two-day seminar series that attracted 86 delegates from various countries like Czech Republic, Portugal, Spain, Scotland, England, and Ireland. A special welcome to delegates attending from the regular major industrial partners such as Analog Devices, Xilinx Onsemi, and Cypress semiconductor.
David A. Johns is a Professor in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. His research interests include equalizers, amplifiers, and line-drivers for high-speed digital communications, data converters, phase-locked-loops and general analog integrated circuits. He is a fellow of the IEEE and was a Guest Editor of the IEEE journal of solid-state circuits and an associate editor of the IEEE transaction on circuits and systems.
The course was organized by Dr. Hooman Reyhani, an expert in data converter technology. This is the fifth successive occasion that this event has been run and builds on the 2015~2018 course formats which have been attended by over 350 delegates from industry and academia. This year’s course covered advanced topics related to Integrated Circuit (IC) design for oversampled data converters. Focus was placed on topics that haven’t received an up-to-date treatment in commonly used textbooks. The first half of the seminar was dedicated to the subject of operational amplifier design specifically stability, optimization low-power analysis and biasing. Switched capacitors circuit design was also covered. The second half of the course was devoted to the topic of oversampled data converters (ADCs/DACs) used across a wide range of speeds and resolutions. Particular emphasis was on bandpass delta-sigma ADCs and incremental ADCs for sensor designs with a final focus on circuit noise limitations.
Building on the tradition of inviting 2 guest after lunch speakers to present during the course, this year’s theme was on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The first speaker was Daire McNamara – co-founder of Emdalo Technologies (https://www.emdalo.com/) which was started in 2012. Daire has more than 20 years’ experience in the electronics industry and his topic was about “Real world AI applications” Emdalo is a software-driven technology company developing advanced edge AI solutions for industries such as industrial automation, workplace management and healthcare, security, marine and subsea. Our second speaker was Dr. Tony Scanlan from the UL/CSRC group (http://www.csrc.ie) whose topic was about “Computation for deep learning” with special insights into convolutional neural network performance related metrics. Tony received his PhD from the University of Limerick in 2005 and is currently a senior research fellow within the ECE dept. His research interests include data conversion, signal processing, neural networks and machine learning hardware platforms.