Analog Devices and imec join forces on IoT device creation

October 12, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Belgian nanotech research centre imec and Analog Devices (ADI) have agreed to a research partnership to develop the next generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. With two initiatives already underway, imec and ADI aim to innovate devices that are not only low-power but that also come with largely improved—or completely new—sensing capabilities.

ADI and imecs have a history of jointly developing high-performance low-power, cost effective circuits and systems, and this collaboration is the latest example, extending that relationship. The partners note that today’s IoT devices, and the sensors on which they depend, are often too big, too expensive and not accurate enough to be practical. One joint research initiative that has already been started in the framework of the strategic collaboration focuses on localization technology.

“Building on imec’s world-leading position in innovative ultra-low power implementations, ADI and imec will pursue the development of a low-power sensor for highly accurate indoor localization in the context of smart building or smart industry solutions,” stated Kathleen Philips, imec program director. “Concretely, we want this sensor to localize objects with a superior accuracy in a robust manner and achieve up to five times better accuracy than today’s best-performing solutions.”

Prototype low-power highly-accurate indoor localization sensor.

A second initiative includes the creation, and ultimately the commercialization, of a highly-integrated liquid sensor that can be used in a variety of application domains, such as the analysis of water, blood or urine. The image at the head of this report shows a prototype low-power integrated liquid sensor.

Kathleen Philips added: “Our single-chip sensor comprises multiple electrodes and excels in terms of cost and size, while demonstrating industry leading sensitivity and accuracy.”

“Imec is widely recognized for its long-standing and global leadership when it comes to the development of ultra-low power circuits and devices, as well as innovative and smart algorithms,” noted Peter Real, Senior VP and CTO, ADI. “We have chosen to take our collaboration with imec to the next level because its expertise in each of those domains—and its position at the crossroads of both the scientific and industrial communities—is fundamental to helping us successfully develop the next generation of IoT sensors.”

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