Ultra-Low Power Application-Specific Integrated Circuits for Sensing

  • P. Kassanos
  • H. Ip
  • Guang-Zhong Yang


In the quest for ever-reducing system size and increased integration and functionality, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology plays a pivotal role in modern implants, where custom circuits designed at transistor and device levels are replacing off-the-shelf commercial chips and bulky benchtop systems. Recently, commercial system-on-chip (SoC) devices encompassing digital microcontrollers, radio, and analog–digital converters, as well as reconfigurable amplifier circuits, are widely available. Despite this, further development of ASIC-specific implantable systems is required, particularly in the area of multi-channel array sensor interfaces, ultra-low power data acquisition, and circuits that work with specialized micro-sensors for implants. ASICs designed to focus on a particular application have given designers the freedom to optimize power consumption for a set task, unlike general-purpose SoCs that have to cater for a wide range of applications and hence typically consume more power. In this chapter, we begin with a survey on the latest development of ASICs and related integrated systems from literature. This is followed by an overview of technological trends in integrated circuit/sensor fabrication and fusion. The rest of the chapter focuses on a number of engineering aspects related to ultra-low power ASIC circuits appropriate for implantable sensors and sensor front-ends, covering bioimpedance, neural and electrochemical sensor measurement circuits, as well as low-power analog-to-digital converter design and architectures.

List of Acronyms


Axon action potentials


Alternating current


Autocorrelation feedback


Analog-to-digital converter


Automatic gain control


Active pixel sensors


Application specific integrated circuit




Built-in self-test


Bipolar junction transistor


Bandpass filter


Correlated double sampling


Chopper stabilization


Common-mode feedback


Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor


Common-mode rejection ratio


Correlated multiple sampling


Central nervous systems


Coordinate rotation digital computer


Compressed sensing




Continuous-time ΔΣ-modulator


Cyclic voltammetry


Digital-to-analog converter


Deep brain stimulation


Direct current


Differential difference amplifier


Direct digital synthesizer


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Digital signal processing


Discrete-time ΔΣ-modulator








Electrical impedance tomography




Electromagnetic interference






Electrostatic discharge


Feedback voltage attenuation


Field-effect transistor


Feedforward current attenuation


Feedforward voltage attenuation


Floating gate MOS


Finite impulse response


Field-programmable analog array


Field-programmable gated array


Frequency span


Fast scan cyclic voltammetry


Frequency shift keying


Third order harmonic distortion


High-pass filter


Instrumentation amplifier


Inversion coefficient


Integrate and fire ADC


Infinite impulse response


Kirchhoff’s current law


Local field potential


Low noise amplifier


Low-pass filter


Least significant bit


Lookup table


Micro-electro-mechanical system


Metal-oxide field effect transistor


Most significant bit


Noise efficiency factor


Output offset storage


Oversampling ratio


Operational amplifier


Operational transconductance amplifier


Power efficiency factor


Programmable gain amplifier


P+ non-salicide diffusion


Peripheral nervous systems


Power spectral density


Power supply rejection ratio




Pulse wave velocity


Quality factor




Read-only memory




Successive approximation register


Switched capacitor


Super cutoff CMOS


Synchronous detection


Spurious-free dynamic range


Signal to noise ratio




Temperature coefficient


Negative temperature coefficient


Positive temperature coefficient


Time-to-digital converter


Time-encoding machine


Total harmonic distortion




Transimpedance amplifier


Triangle-to-sine converter




Voltage-controlled current source


Voltage-to-frequency converter


Voltage variable resistor


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Hamlyn CentreImperial College LondonLondonUK

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