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A STAR IME develops ultra low power analog-to-digital converter

A STAR IME has developed an ultra low power analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for medical devices and wireless sensor nodes.

The ADC, which uses only 400 nW, reduces 20% of the total power consumption of an implantable 100-channel neural recording microsystem, thus reducing the patient’s exposure to electromagnetic radiation in the brain tissue.

The company said the converter can also prolong the battery life of other wearable and implantable medical devices and wireless sensor nodes.

IME scientist Cheong Jia Hao said the ADC employs a tri-level switching scheme to achieve an elegant and simplified digital logic design.

By reducing the capacitor charging voltage and the number of complex arithmetic steps in each data conversion cycle, we can boost the energy efficiency to just 19.5 fJ per conversion step, which contributes to significant total power savings without sacrificing data resolution and affecting other hardware features," Hao added.

IME executive director Dim-Lee Kwong said, "The ultra low power converter will become one of the key elements in emerging wireless sensor networks, sensor clouds, and sensor fusion for various important applications such as environmental monitoring, industrial monitoring and control, green buildings, smart transportation, and e-health."