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Maxim Integrated - Integration Nation
Dennis Feucht

Z Meter on a Chip? Impedance Meter Integration and Readout

Dennis Feucht
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yalanand
yalanand
10/27/2013 7:13:27 AM
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Master
Re : Z Meter on a Chip? Impedance Meter Integration and Readout
The RMT's Z-Meters have comprehensive capabilities, many worthwhile functions for accurate and fast testing of several sorts of thermoelectric coolers.

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D Feucht
D Feucht
10/21/2013 10:39:08 PM
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Blogger
Re: Is it Fundable?
@Brad- It would be of interest to me to know what the level of interest in integrating instruments like a Z meter (including Z meters) are among the semi companies. I am plodding along on a Z meter and when it is meeting spec, I'll have something to demo to prospective IC companies.

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B_Albing
B_Albing
10/21/2013 5:55:43 PM
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Editor
Re: Is it Fundable?
@D Feucht - so if I read that right, you would like to get some IC company involved, but have not yet. I'll ask around.

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D Feucht
D Feucht
10/19/2013 4:01:04 PM
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Blogger
Re: Is it Fundable?
@Scott - You ask hard questions! Ideally for me, I would like to see a semiconductor company decide to do it at minimum risk, by having me become an "advisor" to the project, to take the design past the critical circuit issues by developing a semi-discrete working prototype on a board. (This would need to be designed with IC circuit design in mind, and it might not be optimal for a board-level product. Something like the old Interdesign or Exar IC Design Kits, with multiple process transistors on kit ICs, would be helpful for this.)

Then an IC engineer at Acme Semiconductor can simulate the resulting circuit using in-house process parameters for the components. Some refinement might ensue, and then time for IC layout and a first run through the ion implant machines.

No expenditure would be involved in starting the project at the point where a working prototype of the instrument to be integrated is available. That is what I am presently doing: developing a whole line of new-generation medium-performance instruments on a board. With the existing level of integration, they are simpler than older instruments.

While semiconductor companies have not been promoting integration by increasing the number of op-amps on a chip, the op-amps have been becoming better so that fewer parts are needed to support them. This is a less obvious form of "increased integration" - increased performance.

Alternatively, an instrument company would do it with their own in-house fab capability, or through an IC foundry, or maybe as an ASIC with a semi company, though general market availability of the part aids the competition - unless you are thinking in terms of an open-source scheme for product marketing.

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
10/16/2013 11:01:50 PM
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Blogger
Is it Fundable?
Dennis - Do you think you could get this project funded?  Sounds like a fun project.

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