Partner n° 5 – CSEM (Switzerland)

The CSEM Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM) is a privately held company, partly funded by the Swiss Confederation and carrying out: -Applied research; -Product development; -Feasibility studies; -Product engineering and Production of special devices. CSEM is mainly active in the areas of microtechnology, microelectronics and information systems. CSEM develops and exploits key technologies established with the help of the Swiss Confederation, universities and industrial partners. By offering its high-tech know-how, competencies and expertise, CSEM fulfils the needs of industrial partners. It also develops its own commercial activities, either with existing companies or by the creation of spin-offs and start-ups. Presently, the company has a staff of about 380 employees, over half of whom hold an academic degree. In 2009, CSEM realized a total income of 70 M.CHF. The research conducted in the Integrated and Wireless Systems Division is mainly focused on the development of innovative circuits and systems that exploit the capabilities of advanced technologies to provide new highly integrated solutions for the realization of low-power devices. The main focus is on CMOS technology and on low-power and low-voltage (typically sub-volt) operation instead of the more traditional performance objective.

Previous experience: The research conducted in the CSEM’s Microelectronics Division is mainly focused on the development of innovative and very low-power circuits and systems. CSEM’s Integrated and Wireless Systems Division is involved in the design in deep submicron technologies of analog, radio and digital blocks, such as microcontrollers, DSP cores, standard cell libraries and memories. All these blocks are used for the design of Systems on Chips (SoC) for devices for which dynamic and static power consumption have to be drastically reduced. Generally working at very low voltage (down to 0.6 Volt), technology variations are a main issue, and various techniques have been used for the power management circuits used in the SoC to regulate different internal voltages.

Key personnel to be involved:

Christian Piguet received the M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from EPFL, respectively in 1974 and 1981. He is now Scientific Coordinator at the CSEM, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He is involved in the design and management of very low power CMOS circuits including microprocessors, standard cell libraries, gated clock and low-power techniques. He is Professor at EPFL, Switzerland, lecturer in VLSI design at the University of Neuchâtel and Lugano, Switzerland, and in many postgraduates courses in low-power design. Christian Piguet holds about 30 patents in digital design, microprocessors and watch systems. He is author and co-author of more than 190 publications in technical journals and of two books in digital design. He was the editor of three CRC Press books, for instance “Low-Power Electronics design”, 2004. He is member of program committees of numerous conferences and has served as Program Chairman of PATMOS’95 in Oldenburg, Germany, co-chairman at FTFC’99 in Paris, Chairman of the ACiD’2001 Workshop in Neuchâtel, program co-chairman of ISLPED’2002, USA. He was Low-Power Topic Chair at DATE 2004-2006 and is in the DATE’07 Executive Committee. He was program co-chair for VLSI-SoC in 2008. He was Program Co-Chair of FETCH 2009 in Chexbres, General Chair of FTFC 2009 in Neuchâtel and Program Co-chair of ISCAS 2010 in Paris.

Marc Morgan received a M.S. in Microtechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in 1989. He has since worked with MotorFlexTiles Semiconductor Products Sector and TranSwitch Corp. He now heads the Digital and System-on-Chip design group at CSEM. His research interests include ultra-low power digital design and methodologies.