Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Innovation in Analog and Mixed Signal: The Interaction of Circuits, Process, System and Application

photo of Lew Counts Wednesday, November 7, 2007
306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium)
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Lew Counts
Consultant to Analog Devices, Inc. Former VP of Technology and Fellow at ADI


Innovation in analog and mixed signal electronics has become increasingly important to the continued growth of the IC industry. Technologists working in the analog and mixed signal arena certainly share the overarching goal of reducing power and cost per function in each IC generation; But they must also operate under physical constraints that, until recently, have been secondary in the digital world. From the advent of the first analog IC, designers have exploited the potential of the process to develop circuits that minimized the impact of variation in process parameters on product performance.The bandgap reference is just one example. More generally,trim , calibration and circuit techniques such as charge redistribution enabled economic production of amplifiers and data converters with 12 bits or better precision on .8 bit. processes.

In addition, while process scaling has enabled the development of a wide variety of products, from cell phones to advanced medical imaging systems, the success of these products depends in large measure on their ease of use and seamless connection to wireless and wired networks. Analog and mixed signal subsystems, for example, multi-channel signal conditioning and data conversion for medical imaging and WLAN and cellular radios, support these critical interfaces. The downward scaling of voltage,now at 1V, in deep submicron CMOS may limit dynamic range forcing some analog functions to be implemented on other processes but it has also enabled new circuit architectures that gain back dynamic range.

The creative combination of process, design and system architecture to provide robust solutions to satisfy demanding applications ,will prove to be even more crucial in the future. Such solutions will be essential in meeting the challenges posed by the physical realities of deep submicron design in achieving gigahertz speed, minimizing power -consumption and integrating multiple functions in smaller packages.


Lewis Counts has just retired from the positions of Vice President of Technology and Fellow at Analog Devices. Fellow is one of the highest levels of technical advancement within Analog Devices. Fellows are recognized for their creativity and outstanding technical contributions to the company, acting as mentors to young technologists, and leading outstanding technical teams.

A recognized leader in the industry, Lew has designed and managed the development of amplifiers and analog signal processing circuits for 40 years. His designs include op amps, log-antilog circuits, multipliers, dividers, multifunction components, and rms-to-dc converters. His current interests include the development of processes and products for wireless systems that require high dynamic range.

Lew is a participant at IEEE seminars and conferences, most notably the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). Lew.s technical articles have been published in leading trade magazines, and he is a frequent contributor to Analog Dialogue, a technical journal published monthly by Analog Devices.

Lew earned a SBEE degree from MIT in 1965 and is a member of the IEEE.

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