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Researchers unveil small-area, low-power instrumentation amp

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:instrumentation amplifiers? CMOS? calibration?

According to a team of researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology, small-area, low-power, low-noise instrumentation amplifiers (IA) are critical components of arrayed sensor devices used for high-spatial-resolution biomedical and environment monitoring system. However, in order to realise small offset voltages of IA, conventional IAs use analogue filterscomposed of large passive components, resistors and capacitorsresulting in excessively large silicon chips.

Ippei Akita and a colleague have developed what they say is a novel architecture for fabricating smaller sized ICs. The technique is based on a digital calibration scheme for minimising the offset voltage of the IA circuit, instead of an analogue scheme used in conventional circuits.

The offset exists mainly at the first-stage circuit of IA. In this design, the researchers introduced a reconfigurable first-stage circuit. The best configuration for minimising the offset was easily determined by calibration logic that was implemented in a small area compared to analogue circuits.

The proposed IA was implemented in a standard 0.18?m CMOS and resulted with an offset voltage of The researchers plan to use the proposed IA for the fabrication of an arrayed IA for high-spatial-resolution and real-time sensing systems.

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