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Maxim Integrated - Integration Nation
Doug Grant

Hidden Analog Technology at the 2014 ISSCC

Doug Grant
DaeJ
DaeJ
2/5/2014 5:01:24 PM
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Master
Foundation of circuit with passive component/Wire
I never see only digital circuit. At least wire including PCB wire line, is connected between Digital ICs with Resistor or Cap due to the internal circuit of IC. There is no imagination of any circuit without these components. I think that passive component with wire is required due to the analogy characteristic of IC.

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Netcrawl
Netcrawl
2/4/2014 2:11:34 AM
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Master
Re: Analog content in digital ICs
Analog is key, analog is used primarily  in power management, its has a very imporatnt role in digital space, digital won't stand without analog.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
2/4/2014 1:24:43 AM
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Blogger
Simulating q-bits
Hi Doug--very interesting.  I too was not up on the multi-bit per cell approach.  I did find this PR from Intel, where they claim to first sample a 3-bit per cell design in 2010.  So this technology is only about 3 years old, and now already 6-bits.  This started to remind me of quantum computing.  The big deal about quantum computing is the idea of a q-bit, which due to quantum interference, can take on any range of values represented by a superposition of the normal values (so, for 0 and 1, the q-it can act sort of as if it had all values between 0 an 1).  It is this superposition that promises to dramatically speed up some kinds of calculations.  

Since almost any calculation needs memory in a practical device, I wondered what happens when you get to n-bit per cell memory where n becomes large.  If that memory was also fast, you could possibly get it to behave like q-bits.  It might at least be useful in doing simulations of what quantum comptuers could do.

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samicksha
samicksha
2/2/2014 12:17:13 AM
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Artist
Re: Analog content in digital ICs
I guess data converters to connect analog to digital circuits will still remain hot topic with innovation on power efficiency involved.

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Maciel
Maciel
1/31/2014 11:21:23 AM
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Newbie
Re: Analog content in digital ICs
Exactly Steve,

Think of a digital integrated circuit that does not have no analog reference is virtually impossible.

She will always be there have no escape, no digital without any analog?

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RedDerek
RedDerek
1/30/2014 12:54:17 PM
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Master
multi-bit cells
I was thinking years ago why a cell had to be 1 or 0. I was thinking along the old logic lines of 1, 0 and high-Z as a base-3 system. Now they are making a cell act as 6 bits? Pretty good. Obviously the analog world had to come into play because of the multiple voltage values.

Hey, isn't this almost like the old analog shift register? Granted the SR I was talking about a few blogs ago were serial-in, serial-out.

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amrutah
amrutah
1/30/2014 12:48:47 AM
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Master
Analogish?
With all designs ranging in GHZ and the devices getting smaller, the digital binary transitions are no more sharp and follow a transient behaviour giving a analog flavour to the designs.

   @Doug: Any exciting topics in Analog this ISSCC'14?  Looks like the last paper session is dedicated to the Memory...

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Vishal Prajapati
Vishal Prajapati
1/29/2014 12:24:12 AM
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Master
Lot of Information
Thanks for the article Doug. I never knew this much about memory ICs. I thought only one bit is stored in each floating gate. I didn't knew it uses D/A and A/Ds in the memory ICs. I thought analog is being used only for power management in the digital ICs. This article has changed my perspective towards digital ICs.

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steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
1/28/2014 8:56:43 PM
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Blogger
Analog content in digital ICs
You're right Doug, there are so many analog functions inside a "digital" IC that we do not think about. Power management, references, comparators, drivers, etc

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More Blogs from Doug Grant
If your interest is less in applications of analog technology than other problems, and you want to find out what’s happening in real analog, here's where you should be.
When it comes to this month’s ISSCC show, there are plenty of sections dedicated to solving issues with integrated analog technology. Here, our blogger looks at the sessions that offer new insight to difficult problems.
Once semiconductor companies master the fabrication of micro-electromechanical systems (which they have), the next step is to master nano-electromechanical systems (which they are starting to).
A comparison of integrating large amounts of analog functionality onto a chip with simply using smaller individual analog function blocks. Which is better, cheaper, or easier?
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