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Education and Innovation in Embedded Systems Design

USI Università della Svizzera italiana, USI Faculty of Informatics, Advanced Learning and Research Institute USI Università della Svizzera italiana USI Faculty of Informatics USI Advanced Learning and Research Institute


Professor Piguet Christian
Nouet Pascal
Course program MSc
Year 1
Semester Fall
Category Fundamental
Academic year 2016/2017


This course describes microelectronic technologies and design techniques used to implement Systems on Chip (SoC) in which all system components are located on a single chip. The first chapter starts with layout design presented in a simple and clear way. The second chapter describes the design of simple CMOS circuits using simple methods that directly give transistor schematics. Basic cells that can be found today into standard cell libraries will be designed as examples. The two last chapters are focused on deep submicron technologies as well as on low-power design. The ITRS Roadmap is used for describing the possible evolution of microelectronic technologies for the next 15 years and the associated problems. The use of such technologies for SoC is mandatory, as these SoC will contain a very large number of transistors. One obvious problem is the power consumption, and the fourth chapter will describe the power consumption issues and the possible solutions at circuit and layout levels.

Sensors and Actuators

  • Motion sensors: Proof-mass accelerometers with capacitive transduction, Proof-mass accelerometers with resistive transduction, Convective accelerometers, Lorentz force magnetic sensors, Gyroscopes and Combo sensors

  • Pressure sensors: TPMS, Microphones

  • Electrostatic actuators: RF capacitive switch

  • Thermal actuators: Principle of lateral and vertical thermal actuators

  • Energy harvesting


John P. Uyemura, “Circuit Design for CMOS VLSI” Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992, ISBN 0-7923-9184-5
Christian Piguet, Editor, « Low-Power Electronics Design”, CRC Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8493-1941-2
Christian Piguet, Ricardo Reis and Dimitrios Soudris, Editors, “VLSI-SoC: Design Methodologies for SoC and SiP”, 2010. VIII, 287 p. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 313, ISBN 978-3-642-12266-8, 2010
Ian O'Connor, Gabriela Nicolescu, Christian Piguet, Editors, “Design Technology for Heterogeneous Embedded Systems”, Springer, November 30, 2011.