10 Ireland-based researchers get €5m to develop future electronics

1 Dec 2020

Gerardo Salgado of MCCI at the Tyndall National Institute. Image: Clare Keogh

Researchers working nationally with the MCCI at the Tyndall National Institute will share more than €5m in funding.

Irish research into microelectronics in areas such as 5G wireless communications and implantable biomedical devices will be bolstered following new funding.

A total of 10 researchers working across the country on eight different projects with Microelectronics Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI), based at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, will share more than €5m in funding to support their research into future technology.

The objective of the funding is to advance industry-relevant technologies for lower-power, higher-precision analogue and mixed signal interface circuits. It will also look to support the development of new hardware architectures for emerging applications in internet-of-things (IoT) sensors, communications, AI and quantum engineering.

Supporting industry growth

A call for high-impact, industry-relevant research proposals was launched in July, and MCCI stated that the response from researchers was so high that it was four-times oversubscribed. It’s hoped that the work of the eight research projects will have a knock-on impact on SMEs and semiconductor companies in Ireland looking to advance their technology.

“The scope of the projects that have been funded will support industry growth by securing and scaling circuits R&D activity at our member companies in Ireland,” said MCCI executive director, Donnacha O’Riordan.

“By engaging our world-leading research leaders, we provide competitive advantage to microelectronics companies located in Ireland. This ultimately leads to increases in employment, export revenue and the generation of future leaders in the sector.”

The eight projects funded are:

Bogdan Staszewski and Teerachot Siriburanon, University College Dublin (UCD)

The pair will research wide bandwidths of up to 2GHz at 28GHz carrier frequency to be deployed in 5G mobile transmitters.

Daniel O’Hare, MCCI

O’Hare will develop precision circuits to enable new applications in areas such as environmental monitoring, smart agriculture, connected health and industrial.

Deepu John and Barry Cardiff, UCD

Their project will develop energy efficient IoT sensors that can perform deep learning and pattern recognition at the edge of the network.

Ivan O’Connell, MCCI

O’Connell’s research will cover two strands in the area of precision circuits: one to enable new applications in areas such as smart agriculture, connected health and IoT; while the second will investigate cryogenic circuits for quantum engineering and electronics for space-based applications.

John Buckley, Tyndall National Institute

Buckley will investigate several research challenges associated with the design of wirelessly powered implantable medical devices to monitor key health functions.

Peter Kennedy, UCD

Kennedy aims to develop novel modulators that will yield better spur performance, enabling the next generation of communications systems.

Seamus O’Driscoll, MCCI

O’Driscoll’s research will focus on innovative intelligent gate driver features to enhance switching speed, efficiency and performance.

Yizhe Hu and Bogdan Staszewski, UCD

The pair will be focused on achieving better performance in phase noise and lower power consumptions of high-speed transceivers.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic