Mixed Signal ASIC assembled in a ceramic package
© Fraunhofer IMS
An integrated circuit developed by Fraunhofer IMS in a ceramic package for evaluation in a test lab

Analog & Mixed-Signal IC Design

Fraunhofer IMS develops customized Mixed-Signal ICs according to your specification – highest performance, low energy consumption and small size can thus be realized for your application.

Mixed-Signal IC Design

The competence Mixed-Signal IC Design develops ASICs in cooperation with customers from the initial idea to the ready-to-use device in the target package. Thanks to many years of know-how, we can offer professional support in system design and develop IC solutions for these systems. The service portfolio in Mixed-Signal development extends from the concept to the qualified silicon in the package, which are tailor-made to fit the customer's environment. The application area of the IC solutions ranges from high & medium volume automotive and industrial applications to small series with application areas in medicine and aerospace. The advantage of such a custom IC development for the customer is the optimal system integration with high efficiency for the target application, high compactness with increased performance, as well as the cost advantage compared to discrete realized circuits.

Cost efficiency is a top priority in the development in order to be able to offer customers a high level of cost-effectiveness through IC development, depending on volume and product life cycle. Of course, the most cost-efficient technology for the required performance is also selected on a completely individual basis.

 

IP - Core Design

Mixed-Signal IC design requires special knowledge, design methods and experience, especially when sophisticated analog circuit blocks have to be implemented. The competence area Mixed-Signal IC Design benefits from many years of experience in various foundry processes in technology nodes from 0.35 µm to 22 nm and can therefore design with a high degree of confidence. The modern infrastructure and industry-standard design tools used at the Fraunhofer IMS are also helpful. In particular, sophisticated IP cores for signal conditioning can be used and realized, which include:

  • low-noise analog signal conditioning
  • analog-to-digital converters (ADC)
  • Digital-to-analog converters (DAC)
  • time-to-digital converters (TDC)
  • image sensors
  • sensor read-out front-ends (inductive, capacitive, resistive, photosensitive)
  • Front-ends for RFID (HF, UHF, SHF)
  • Monolithic integrated sensors

 

Full integration

In addition to the complex IP cores, which are custom designed and provide the main external function for the customer, in Mixed-Signal IC design a number of "hidden" circuitries that work in secret for the customer and is essential for stand-alone operation of the IC are required. These include reference voltage generation, clock generators or operational amplifiers, all of which are grouped under the term "power management". Adding such circuit blocks and combining them into a stand-alone IC is called "full integration" or "design assembly". The competence area Mixed-Signal IC Design has a large number of existing power management IPs for full integration. The power management blocks can either be used 1:1 in a new development or are adapted slightly if required. Re-use of existing blocks minimizes design risks and there is little cost to the customer. This is in line with the approach of cost-efficient design. Low risk porting to other processes is possible if specification requirements make this necessary. Existing power management IPs include:

  • voltage regulators
  • temperature-compensated voltage and current references
  • power-on reset
  • operational amplifiers
  • clock generation
  • frequency synthesizer

High Precision Readout IC for Accelerometers

Sensitive electronics for seismographic evaluation

High Resolution Delay Measurement in your ASIC

High resolution delay measurement in your ASIC using TDC with 60ps resolution and 200kHz sample rate

Inductive Position Sensor ASIC

Position detection by amplitude shift of the magnetic fields

Our technologies - Innovations for your products

Sensor Frontends

These first signal processing stages in sensor systems amplify, filter and convert sensor signals into digital form

System-on-Chip-Design

In SoC design, complex systems with microcontroller, memory and extensive application-specific functions are developed

High Temperature Electronics

For applications with up to 300°C ambient temperature a special technology is available at Fraunhofer IMS

Integrated Sensors

Integrated sensors can be incorporated directly into a circuit design and enable miniaturized, efficient sensor systems

Neural Networks

Neural networks often allow highly efficient signal analysis directly at the location of the sensor system

Our technology areas - Our technologies for your development

Integrated Sensor Systems

Covers all electronic components for sensor signal conditioning and readout.

Optical Systems

Comprises 3D-Sensors, High-Speed-Imaging, detection of extreme low light as well as scientific imaging.

Wireless and Transponder Systems

Incorporates the wireless acquisition of sensor and ID-data even in passive systems.

 

Smart Sensor Systems

Here you can get back to the overview page of the core competence Smart Sensor Systems (SSS).