Invited Speaker, Track 4: Low-Power Electronics for Autonomous Sensors

Tim Cheng

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Presenter Bio

Tim Cheng received his Ph.D. in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been serving as Dean of Engineering and Chair Professor of ECE and CSE at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) since May 2016. Before joining HKUST, he worked at Bell Laboratories from 1988 to 1993 and joined the faculty at Univ. of California, Santa Barbara in 1993 where he served as the founding director of UCSB’s Computer Engineering Program, Chair of the ECE Department and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. His current research interests include design and design automation for flexible hybrid circuits, photonics IC, and system chips, as well as computer vision and medical image analysis. He has published more than 500 technical papers, co-authored five books, held 12 US patents, supervised more than 60 PhD dissertations, and transferred several of his inventions into successful commercial products.

Cheng, an IEEE fellow, received 10+ Best Paper Awards from various IEEE and ACM conferences and journals. He has also received 2020 Pan Wen Yuan Outstanding Research Award, Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences, UCSB College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award, and Fellow of School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo. He served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Design and Test of Computers and was a board member of IEEE Council of Electronic Design Automation’s Board of Governors and IEEE Computer Society’s Publication Board.

Abstract: High-fidelity and Large-area Flexible Hybrid Sensing System
Combining printed flexible electronics (FE) with high performance silicon chips, known as flexible hybrid electronics (FHE), can bring together flexible form factors, low-cost fabrications and high computational capabilities, thus enabling more innovations for wearable, artificial skins and IoT applications. However, as a heterogeneous system, motion artifacts and noises pose great challenges on designing robust interfaces between FE and silicon. Besides, the FHE sensing system has to tolerate inadequate device yield, reliability and stability caused by the low temperature process and the large-area nature of flexible sensor arrays. It is thus essential to develop design methodologies for large area sensing applications which can suppress the noises in the interfaces and ensure system robustness without relying on highly reliable devices.   To address the noise issue, we prototyped an active electrode (with a thickness <=2 um), which integrates the electrode with a thin-film transistor (TFT) based amplifier, to effectively suppress motion artifacts. To alleviate the device defects, we developed an encoder-decoder design which leverages the sparse statistical characteristics of bio-signals via compressed sensing (CS). Specifically, we use flexible circuitry to implement a simple CS encoder and decode the compressed signal in the silicon side. As a system demonstration, we fabricated the temperature sensor array, shift register and amplifier to illustrate the feasibility of the encoder design using CNT-based flexible thin-film transistors.

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