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A CMOS analog front-end circuit for micro-fluxgate sensors

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Fluxgate sensors are magnetic field sensors that can measure DC and low frequency AC magnetic fields. They can measure much lower magnetic fields than other magnetic sensors like Hall effect sensors, magnetoresistive sensors etc. They also have high linearity, high

Fluxgate sensors are magnetic field sensors that can measure DC and low frequency AC magnetic fields. They can measure much lower magnetic fields than other magnetic sensors like Hall effect sensors, magnetoresistive sensors etc. They also have high linearity, high sensitivity and low noise. The major application of fluxgate sensors is in magnetometers for the measurement of earth's magnetic field. Magnetometers are used in navigation systems and electronic compasses. Fluxgate sensors can also be used to measure high DC currents. Integrated micro-fluxgate sensors have been developed in recent years. These sensors have much lower power consumption and area compared to their PCB counterparts. The output voltage of micro-fluxgate sensors is very low which makes the analog front end more complex and results in an increase in power consumption of the system. In this thesis a new analog front-end circuit for micro-fluxgate sensors is developed. This analog front-end circuit uses charge pump based excitation circuit and phase delay based read-out chain. With these two features the power consumption of analog front-end is reduced. The output is digital and it is immune to amplitude noise at the output of the sensor. Digital output is produced without using an ADC. A SPICE model of micro-fluxgate sensor is used to verify the operation of the analog front-end and the simulation results show very good linearity.

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2013

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Adaptive learning and unsupervised clustering of immune responses using microarray random sequence peptides

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Immunosignaturing is a medical test for assessing the health status of a patient by applying microarrays of random sequence peptides to determine the patient's immune fingerprint by associating antibodies from a biological sample to immune responses. The immunosignature measurements can

Immunosignaturing is a medical test for assessing the health status of a patient by applying microarrays of random sequence peptides to determine the patient's immune fingerprint by associating antibodies from a biological sample to immune responses. The immunosignature measurements can potentially provide pre-symptomatic diagnosis for infectious diseases or detection of biological threats. Currently, traditional bioinformatics tools, such as data mining classification algorithms, are used to process the large amount of peptide microarray data. However, these methods generally require training data and do not adapt to changing immune conditions or additional patient information. This work proposes advanced processing techniques to improve the classification and identification of single and multiple underlying immune response states embedded in immunosignatures, making it possible to detect both known and previously unknown diseases or biothreat agents. Novel adaptive learning methodologies for un- supervised and semi-supervised clustering integrated with immunosignature feature extraction approaches are proposed. The techniques are based on extracting novel stochastic features from microarray binding intensities and use Dirichlet process Gaussian mixture models to adaptively cluster the immunosignatures in the feature space. This learning-while-clustering approach allows continuous discovery of antibody activity by adaptively detecting new disease states, with limited a priori disease or patient information. A beta process factor analysis model to determine underlying patient immune responses is also proposed to further improve the adaptive clustering performance by formatting new relationships between patients and antibody activity. In order to extend the clustering methods for diagnosing multiple states in a patient, the adaptive hierarchical Dirichlet process is integrated with modified beta process factor analysis latent feature modeling to identify relationships between patients and infectious agents. The use of Bayesian nonparametric adaptive learning techniques allows for further clustering if additional patient data is received. Significant improvements in feature identification and immune response clustering are demonstrated using samples from patients with different diseases.

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2013

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Energy and quality-aware multimedia signal processing

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Today's mobile devices have to support computation-intensive multimedia applications with a limited energy budget. In this dissertation, we present architecture level and algorithm-level techniques that reduce energy consumption of these devices with minimal impact on system quality. First, we present

Today's mobile devices have to support computation-intensive multimedia applications with a limited energy budget. In this dissertation, we present architecture level and algorithm-level techniques that reduce energy consumption of these devices with minimal impact on system quality. First, we present novel techniques to mitigate the effects of SRAM memory failures in JPEG2000 implementations operating in scaled voltages. We investigate error control coding schemes and propose an unequal error protection scheme tailored for JPEG2000 that reduces overhead without affecting the performance. Furthermore, we propose algorithm-specific techniques for error compensation that exploit the fact that in JPEG2000 the discrete wavelet transform outputs have larger values for low frequency subband coefficients and smaller values for high frequency subband coefficients. Next, we present use of voltage overscaling to reduce the data-path power consumption of JPEG codecs. We propose an algorithm-specific technique which exploits the characteristics of the quantized coefficients after zig-zag scan to mitigate errors introduced by aggressive voltage scaling. Third, we investigate the effect of reducing dynamic range for datapath energy reduction. We analyze the effect of truncation error and propose a scheme that estimates the mean value of the truncation error during the pre-computation stage and compensates for this error. Such a scheme is very effective for reducing the noise power in applications that are dominated by additions and multiplications such as FIR filter and transform computation. We also present a novel sum of absolute difference (SAD) scheme that is based on most significant bit truncation. The proposed scheme exploits the fact that most of the absolute difference (AD) calculations result in small values, and most of the large AD values do not contribute to the SAD values of the blocks that are selected. Such a scheme is highly effective in reducing the energy consumption of motion estimation and intra-prediction kernels in video codecs. Finally, we present several hybrid energy-saving techniques based on combination of voltage scaling, computation reduction and dynamic range reduction that further reduce the energy consumption while keeping the performance degradation very low. For instance, a combination of computation reduction and dynamic range reduction for Discrete Cosine Transform shows on average, 33% to 46% reduction in energy consumption while incurring only 0.5dB to 1.5dB loss in PSNR.

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2012

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Improving the reliability of NAND Flash, phase-change RAM and spin-torque transfer RAM

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Non-volatile memories (NVM) are widely used in modern electronic devices due to their non-volatility, low static power consumption and high storage density. While Flash memories are the dominant NVM technology, resistive memories such as phase change access memory (PRAM) and

Non-volatile memories (NVM) are widely used in modern electronic devices due to their non-volatility, low static power consumption and high storage density. While Flash memories are the dominant NVM technology, resistive memories such as phase change access memory (PRAM) and spin torque transfer random access memory (STT-MRAM) are gaining ground. All these technologies suffer from reliability degradation due to process variations, structural limits and material property shift. To address the reliability concerns of these NVM technologies, multi-level low cost solutions are proposed for each of them. My approach consists of first building a comprehensive error model. Next the error characteristics are exploited to develop low cost multi-level strategies to compensate for the errors. For instance, for NAND Flash memory, I first characterize errors due to threshold voltage variations as a function of the number of program/erase cycles. Next a flexible product code is designed to migrate to a stronger ECC scheme as program/erase cycles increases. An adaptive data refresh scheme is also proposed to improve memory reliability with low energy cost for applications with different data update frequencies. For PRAM, soft errors and hard errors models are built based on shifts in the resistance distributions. Next I developed a multi-level error control approach involving bit interleaving and subblock flipping at the architecture level, threshold resistance tuning at the circuit level and programming current profile tuning at the device level. This approach helped reduce the error rate significantly so that it was now sufficient to use a low cost ECC scheme to satisfy the memory reliability constraint. I also studied the reliability of a PRAM+DRAM hybrid memory system and analyzed the tradeoffs between memory performance, programming energy and lifetime. For STT-MRAM, I first developed an error model based on process variations. I developed a multi-level approach to reduce the error rates that consisted of increasing the W/L ratio of the access transistor, increasing the voltage difference across the memory cell and adjusting the current profile during write operation. This approach enabled use of a low cost BCH based ECC scheme to achieve very low block failure rates.

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2014

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Adaptive methods within a sequential Bayesian approach for structural health monitoring

Description

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to perform damage detection, the ability to monitor the level of damage over time can provide extremely useful information in assessing the operational worthiness of a structure and in determining whether the structure should be repaired or removed from service. In this work, a sequential Bayesian approach with active sensing is employed for monitoring crack growth within fatigue-loaded materials. The monitoring approach is based on predicting crack damage state dynamics and modeling crack length observations. Since fatigue loading of a structural component can change while in service, an interacting multiple model technique is employed to estimate probabilities of different loading modes and incorporate this information in the crack length estimation problem. For the observation model, features are obtained from regions of high signal energy in the time-frequency plane and modeled for each crack length damage condition. Although this observation model approach exhibits high classification accuracy, the resolution characteristics can change depending upon the extent of the damage. Therefore, several different transmission waveforms and receiver sensors are considered to create multiple modes for making observations of crack damage. Resolution characteristics of the different observation modes are assessed using a predicted mean squared error criterion and observations are obtained using the predicted, optimal observation modes based on these characteristics. Calculation of the predicted mean square error metric can be computationally intensive, especially if performed in real time, and an approximation method is proposed. With this approach, the real time computational burden is decreased significantly and the number of possible observation modes can be increased. Using sensor measurements from real experiments, the overall sequential Bayesian estimation approach, with the adaptive capability of varying the state dynamics and observation modes, is demonstrated for tracking crack damage.

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2013

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Image processing using approximate data-path units

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In this work, we present approximate adders and multipliers to reduce data-path complexity of specialized hardware for various image processing systems. These approximate circuits have a lower area, latency and power consumption compared to their accurate counterparts and produce fairly

In this work, we present approximate adders and multipliers to reduce data-path complexity of specialized hardware for various image processing systems. These approximate circuits have a lower area, latency and power consumption compared to their accurate counterparts and produce fairly accurate results. We build upon the work on approximate adders and multipliers presented in [23] and [24]. First, we show how choice of algorithm and parallel adder design can be used to implement 2D Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) algorithm with good performance but low area. Our implementation of the 2D DCT has comparable PSNR performance with respect to the algorithm presented in [23] with ~35-50% reduction in area. Next, we use the approximate 2x2 multiplier presented in [24] to implement parallel approximate multipliers. We demonstrate that if some of the 2x2 multipliers in the design of the parallel multiplier are accurate, the accuracy of the multiplier improves significantly, especially when two large numbers are multiplied. We choose Gaussian FIR Filter and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithms to illustrate the efficacy of our proposed approximate multiplier. We show that application of the proposed approximate multiplier improves the PSNR performance of 32x32 FFT implementation by 4.7 dB compared to the implementation using the approximate multiplier described in [24]. We also implement a state-of-the-art image enlargement algorithm, namely Segment Adaptive Gradient Angle (SAGA) [29], in hardware. The algorithm is mapped to pipelined hardware blocks and we synthesized the design using 90 nm technology. We show that a 64x64 image can be processed in 496.48 µs when clocked at 100 MHz. The average PSNR performance of our implementation using accurate parallel adders and multipliers is 31.33 dB and that using approximate parallel adders and multipliers is 30.86 dB, when evaluated against the original image. The PSNR performance of both designs is comparable to the performance of the double precision floating point MATLAB implementation of the algorithm.

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2013

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Integrated inductors with micro-patterned magnetic thin films for RF and power applications

Description

With increasing demand for System on Chip (SoC) and System in Package (SiP) design in computer and communication technologies, integrated inductor which is an essential passive component has been widely used in numerous integrated circuits (ICs) such as in voltage

With increasing demand for System on Chip (SoC) and System in Package (SiP) design in computer and communication technologies, integrated inductor which is an essential passive component has been widely used in numerous integrated circuits (ICs) such as in voltage regulators and RF circuits. In this work, soft ferromagnetic core material, amorphous Co-Zr-Ta-B, was incorporated into on-chip and in-package inductors in order to scale down inductors and improve inductors performance in both inductance density and quality factor. With two layers of 500 nm Co-Zr-Ta-B films a 3.5X increase in inductance and a 3.9X increase in quality factor over inductors without magnetic films were measured at frequencies as high as 1 GHz. By laminating technology, up to 9.1X increase in inductance and more than 5X increase in quality factor (Q) were obtained from stripline inductors incorporated with 50 nm by 10 laminated films with a peak Q at 300 MHz. It was also demonstrated that this peak Q can be pushed towards high frequency as far as 1GHz by a combination of patterning magnetic films into fine bars and laminations. The role of magnetic vias in magnetic flux and eddy current control was investigated by both simulation and experiment using different patterning techniques and by altering the magnetic via width. Finger-shaped magnetic vias were designed and integrated into on-chip RF inductors improving the frequency of peak quality factor from 400 MHz to 800 MHz without sacrificing inductance enhancement. Eddy current and magnetic flux density in different areas of magnetic vias were analyzed by HFSS 3D EM simulation. With optimized magnetic vias, high frequency response of up to 2 GHz was achieved. Furthermore, the effect of applied magnetic field on on-chip inductors was investigated for high power applications. It was observed that as applied magnetic field along the hard axis (HA) increases, inductance maintains similar value initially at low fields, but decreases at larger fields until the magnetic films become saturated. The high frequency quality factor showed an opposite trend which is correlated to the reduction of ferromagnetic resonant absorption in the magnetic film. In addition, experiments showed that this field-dependent inductance change varied with different patterned magnetic film structures, including bars/slots and fingers structures. Magnetic properties of Co-Zr-Ta-B films on standard organic package substrates including ABF and polyimide were also characterized. Effects of substrate roughness and stress were analyzed and simulated which provide strategies for integrating Co-Zr-Ta-B into package inductors and improving inductors performance. Stripline and spiral inductors with Co-Zr-Ta-B films were fabricated on both ABF and polyimide substrates. Maximum 90% inductance increase in hundreds MHz frequency range were achieved in stripline inductors which are suitable for power delivery applications. Spiral inductors with Co-Zr-Ta-B films showed 18% inductance increase with quality factor of 4 at frequency up to 3 GHz.

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2013

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Codoped zinc oxide by a novel co-spray deposition technique for solar cells applications

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Zinc oxide (ZnO), a naturally n-type semiconductor has been identified as a promising candidate to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) as the transparent electrode in solar cells, because of its wide bandgap (3.37 eV), abundant source materials and suitable refractive

Zinc oxide (ZnO), a naturally n-type semiconductor has been identified as a promising candidate to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) as the transparent electrode in solar cells, because of its wide bandgap (3.37 eV), abundant source materials and suitable refractive index (2.0 at 600 nm). Spray deposition is a convenient and low cost technique for large area and uniform deposition of semiconductor thin films. In particular, it provides an easier way to dope the film by simply adding the dopant precursor into the starting solution. In order to reduce the resistivity of undoped ZnO, many works have been done by doping in the ZnO with either group IIIA elements or VIIA elements using spray pyrolysis. However, the resistivity is still too high to meet TCO's resistivity requirement. In the present work, a novel co-spray deposition technique is developed to bypass a fundamental limitation in the conventional spray deposition technique, i.e. the deposition of metal oxides from incompatible precursors in the starting solution. With this technique, ZnO films codoped with one cationic dopant, Al, Cr, or Fe, and an anionic dopant, F, have been successfully synthesized, in which F is incompatible with all these three cationic dopants. Two starting solutions were prepared and co-sprayed through two separate spray heads. One solution contained only the F precursor, NH 4F. The second solution contained the Zn and one cationic dopant precursors, Zn(O 2CCH 3) 2 and AlCl 3, CrCl 3, or FeCl 3. The deposition was carried out at 500 &degC; on soda-lime glass in air. Compared to singly-doped ZnO thin films, codoped ZnO samples showed better electrical properties. Besides, a minimum sheet resistance, 55.4 Ω/sq, was obtained for Al and F codoped ZnO films after vacuum annealing at 400 &degC;, which was lower than singly-doped ZnO with either Al or F. The transmittance for the Al and F codoped ZnO samples was above 90% in the visible range. This co-spray deposition technique provides a simple and cost-effective way to synthesize metal oxides from incompatible precursors with improved properties.

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2013

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FPGA-based implementation of QR decomposition

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This thesis report aims at introducing the background of QR decomposition and its application. QR decomposition using Givens rotations is a efficient method to prevent directly matrix inverse in solving least square minimization problem, which is a typical approach for

This thesis report aims at introducing the background of QR decomposition and its application. QR decomposition using Givens rotations is a efficient method to prevent directly matrix inverse in solving least square minimization problem, which is a typical approach for weight calculation in adaptive beamforming. Furthermore, this thesis introduces Givens rotations algorithm and two general VLSI (very large scale integrated circuit) architectures namely triangular systolic array and linear systolic array for numerically QR decomposition. To fulfill the goal, a 4 input channels triangular systolic array with 16 bits fixed-point format and a 5 input channels linear systolic array are implemented on FPGA (Field programmable gate array). The final result shows that the estimated clock frequencies of 65 MHz and 135 MHz on post-place and route static timing report could be achieved using Xilinx Virtex 6 xc6vlx240t chip. Meanwhile, this report proposes a new method to test the dynamic range of QR-D. The dynamic range of the both architectures can be achieved around 110dB.

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2014

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Modelling and simulation of plasmonic waveguides and nanolasers

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This thesis summarizes modeling and simulation of plasmonic waveguides and nanolasers. The research includes modeling of dielectric constants of doped semiconductor as a potential plasmonic material, simulation of plasmonic waveguides with different configurations and geometries, simulation and design of plasmonic

This thesis summarizes modeling and simulation of plasmonic waveguides and nanolasers. The research includes modeling of dielectric constants of doped semiconductor as a potential plasmonic material, simulation of plasmonic waveguides with different configurations and geometries, simulation and design of plasmonic nanolasers. In the doped semiconductor part, a more accurate model accounting for dielectric constant of doped InAs was proposed. In the model, Interband transitions accounted for by Adachi's model considering Burstein-Moss effect and free electron effect governed by Drude model dominate in different spectral regions. For plasmonic waveguide part, Insulator-Metal-Insulator (IMI) waveguide, silver nanowire waveguide with and without substrate, Metal-Semiconductor-Metal (MSM) waveguide and Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor-Insulator-Metal (MISIM) waveguide were investigated respectively. Modal analysis was given for each part. Lastly, a comparative study of plasmonic and optical modes in an MSM disk cavity was performed by FDTD simulation for room temperature at the telecommunication wavelength. The results show quantitatively that plasmonic modes have advantages over optical modes in the scalability down to small size and the cavity Quantum Electrodynamics(QED) effects due to the possibility of breaking the diffraction limit. Surprisingly for lasing characteristics, though plasmonic modes have large loss as expected, minimal achievable threshold can be attained for whispering gallery plasmonic modes with azimuthal number of 2 by optimizing cavity design at 1.55µm due to interplay of metal loss and radiation loss.

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2014