In near future, massively-deployed embedded devices, operating as sensing network nodes for autonomous applications, will necessarily require a footprint as small as possible, from both the volume and power consumption viewpoints. For many applications it will be necessary to reduce physical size down to millimeter scale. Integration of sensors and electronics becomes an important step forward towards miniaturization. Reasons for this trend are cost and power consumption and system performance improvement. Reducing the system discrete component count will in general improve reliability, minimize the packaging costs and the total system size. Finally, reduction of contaminating materials will become key for environment preservation. The Advanced CMOS-MEMS Integration for New Generation Millimeter-Scale Systems (CGEMS) project main objective is to create the technology for millimeter-scale integrated sensory nodes, taking advantage of the research group know-how on BEOL (Back End Of Line) CMOS-MEMS technology and IC design expertise. From all necessary technologies for these nodes, we plan to conduct research on the critical enabling technologies, in particular on microsensors and energy. The obtained results will be applied to tag demonstrators to show system integration. - Microsensors. Starting from the research background of previous projects, MEMS devices will be defined. Accelerometers will be adapted to CMOS TSMC 180 nm, while the group already developed magnetometers and pressure sensor in this technology. It is also intended to try new ideas using our CMOS-MEMS development know-how seeking innovative or competitive sensing elements and to explore the combination of MEMS with photodiodes. - Energy/Power Consumption and Collection. The CMOS-MEMS conditioning circuits will be optimized for power consumption. A holistic approach is proposed, taking into account the MEMS transducer, its conditioning and postprocessing. High-level design space exploration will be performed and the most promising partition and signal representation will be selected. Ultra-low power circuit techniques will be applied and eventually new circuit topologies adapted to the problem will be proposed. Besides power consumption minimization, energy generation from the environment (energy harvesting) will be explored. Special attention will be given to photogenerated current, but other energy sources will be equally considered and analyzed. The system integration will be shown with one or two possible demonstrators. - Person fall detection/Parkinson disease monitoring tag. It is planned to replace discrete COTS (Circuit Off The Shelf) products developed by a low-power integrated CMOS-MEMS IC, which eventually can result in a medical patch-like device we name Wearable-on-Patch (WoP). Also, future versions of the millimeter-size system could be used in more advanced medical applications such as implants or electronic pills. - Marine life study tag. In this case, the reduced size and battery life is also fundamental to minimize the load applied to tiny marine fish or crustaceans. The project tasks are grouped in six work packages: devices, low-power circuits, energy harvesting, integration demonstrators, result dissemination and coordination. The CGEMS project addresses the Spanish Research Challenge Program, point I. Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications of Challenge 7: Economy, Society and Digital Culture.
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad