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Colorful Chips from UC San Diego are Ultra-miniaturized Energy Managers

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Energy managment chips are part of the Research Expo 2015 look. Register today for Research Expo on April 16. In just one afternoon, get a great view of the exciting research and recruitment opportunities at the Jacobs School. 

San Diego, CA, March 16, 2015 -- The chips with colorful reflections in the photo above are ultra-miniaturized energy management chips from the lab of University of California, San Diego electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier. Energy management chips are crucial for just about all electronics. Shrinking their size while maintaining performance is critical for the unobtrusive, low-power wearable sensor systems for health monitoring and more that researchers, including Mercier, are developing at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors. Some such systems may even scavenge energy from the environment, including sweat on the skin. Data would be wirelessly sent to your phone or perhaps to your doctor.

“Whether you are powering a device from a battery or an energy harvester, the voltage of the battery or energy harvester is never the same voltage that you need for your sensor or your wireless transceiver. And so we need intermediate chips to process and manage that energy,” explained Mercier.

“Anywhere you have electronics you need chips like these. Our phones have dozens of them. Current technologies are either too large or are small and inefficient. We are trying to make small and efficient energy-management chips,” said Mercier. “We can’t afford to have these huge things sitting around doing the energy processing.”

Most conventional energy-management chips require relatively large inductors that don’t scale well. (There are fundamental physics reasons why these inductors don’t scale easily to smaller sizes.) Mercier’s energy-management chips, in contrast, are small enough to be fully integrated right onto microchips and could potentially be just as efficient as much larger versions.

As Associate Director of the Center for Wearable Sensors, Mercier will give a 20-minute faculty “lightning talk” at Research Expo at 4:00 PM on April 16. The talk title: “Seamless Integration of Wearable Medical Devices.”

Mercier is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and a faculty advisor on five graduate student posters to be presented at Research Expo 2015 on April 16. Search all Research Expo posters here.

Posters at Research Expo from students advised by Patrick Mercier.

11. A MINIATURIZED ULTRASONIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM
Student: Jiwoong Park 
Professor: Patrick P. Mercier 
Industry Application Areas: Electronics/Photonics | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

12. MINIATURIZED POWER CONVERTERS USING RECURSIVE SWITCHED CAPACITOR TOPOLOGIES
Student: Loai Galal Bahgat Salem 
Professor: Patrick P. Mercier 
Industry Application Areas: Electronics/Photonics | Energy/Clean technology

16. LANGUAGE OF "GLOVE"- WIRELESS COMMUNICATION OF HAND GESTURES USING PEDOT:PSS SENSORS
Student(s): Kirtana Mohan Rajan 
Professor(s): Darren J. Lipomi | Patrick P. Mercier 
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials

32. A 16-CHANNEL WIRELESS NEURAL INTERFACING SOC WITH RF-POWERED ENERGY-REPLENISHING ADIABATIC STIMULATION
Students: Sohmyung Ha | Abrahm Akinin | Jiwoong Park | Chul Kim | Hui Wang | Christoph Maier 
Professors: Gert Cauwenberghs | Patrick P. Mercier 
Industry Application Areas: Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

34. A 144MHZ INTEGRATED RESONANT REGULATING RECTIFIER WITH HYBRID PULSE MODULATION
Student: Chul Kim 
Professors: Gert Cauwenberghs | Patrick P. Mercier 
Industry Application Areas: Electronics/Photonics | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Semiconductor

Register for Research Expo today.
UC San Diego alumni receive half-price admission.
Employees of member companies of the Jacobs School’s Corporate Affiliates Program receive 2-for-1 admission. 

The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering gratefully recognizes its Research Expo 2015 corporate sponsors Qualcomm, ViaSat, Cubic and Leidos.

 

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