IC R&D at Epoch Microelectronics

  • Product R&D at Epoch Microelectronics, a NY-based Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) company (fabless).
  • Worked closely with customers to achieve prompt time-to-market, while developing feature-rich, low-cost and high-performance products.
  • Designed a wide range of mixed signal RFICs for telecommunications and state-of-the-art data converter systems, including:
    • RF Modulators (passive and active).
    • Fractional and integer PLLs.
    • Wideband, low-noise LNAs.
    • Low-noise bandgaps and regulators.
    • LC and XTAL oscillators.
    • ΣΔ modulators.
    • FIR/IIR interpolation and decimation filters.
    • Anti-aliasing filters for data converters.
    • Continuous time, high linearity analog filters for base-band processing.
  • Worked with multiple telecommunication standards, including:
    • Cellular: GSM (EDGE), CDMA, WCDMA, LTE, WIMAX
    • Terrestrial and Cable Television: DVB, ATSC, ISDB
    • Low-power standards: Bluetooth, Zigbee

Contactless On-Wafer Characterization


System block diagram

Chip photo (1050µm x 750µm)
 
  • Master's thesis under the supervision of Prof. Peter Kinget (Columbia University).
  • Designed a contactless IC testing mechanism using inductive probing through custom devices.
  • Simulated EM structures in software and designed a low-power and high-efficiency, on-chip RF power rectification system for 90nm process.
  • Publication: J. Tompson, A. Dolin and P. Kinget, "2.6GHz RF Inductive Power Delivery for Contactless On-Wafer Characterization," IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Test Structures, Edinburgh, 2008, pp. 175-179.

Mismatch Characterization of Ring-Oscillators


Measurement Setup (probe station)

Chip photo (2550µm x 2100µm)
 
  • Academic research under the supervision of Prof. Peter Kinget (Columbia University).
  • Investigated the matching of on-chip oscillators and compared statistics to theoretical estimates (from fabricated samples in UMC's 90nm CMOS process).
  • Designed test structures for fabrication and automated testing of silicon wafers in software.

High-Speed, Chip-to-Chip Communcation System


Chip A & B orientation

Close up: Spiral Inductor Communication Structures
 
  • Undergraduate Honors thesis under the supervision of Prof. Gu-Yeon Wei (Harvard University).
  • Designed a novel transformer-based communication system for high-speed digital systems.
  • Research involved microwave device modeling of custom inductor devices as well as circuit and VHDL simulations of the inductive communication architecture.
  • Thesis is available upon request.