S3 Semiconductors attended ISICAS 2018 (2-3 September) in Taormina, Italy. There was an exciting array of topics on the agenda both days. Discussions covered the fields of analog, biomedical, sensor interface to name a few. There were a number of interesting papers with novel ideas, mostly targeting challenges for implementation of the Internet-of-Things. Items like the constraints in design in terms of power and costs were discussed during the 2 days of the conference. All the accepted and presented papers, already available online, will be published in two special issues of TCAS-I and TCAS-II leading to high quality published material.
João L. A. de Melo, a senior mixed-signal design engineer at S3 Semiconductors presented his paper entitled “Continuous-Time Delta-Sigma Modulators Based on Passive RC Integrators” in the sigma-delta ADCs session. The idea behind his research work, is to remove the traditional high gain and high bandwidth amplifiers from the loop-filter of the delta-sigma modulator in order to implement low power ADCs. Instead of traditional amplifiers, passive RC integrators together with low gain amplifiers, as well as the contribution of the 1-bit comparator to the loop gain are proposed to obtain efficient designs. With this approach, it is possible to build one of the most energy and area efficient delta-sigma modulators. The design techniques proposed by Melo would be suitable for smart sensor interfaces for the IoT, since it will result in an extended battery life.