Highly Integrated Low Power Wireless Systems

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community


Speaker: Professor Ahmed Emira

Faculty Host: Professor Francisco De Leon


Low-power highly-integrated systems are desired in battery-operated consumer electronics applications due to their small form factor, low bill-of-material, and long battery life. However, some devices are still realized off-chip such as switching regulators (DC-DC converters) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters. The switching noise of DC-DC converters remains the main obstacle hindering integration with sensitive analog front-end circuits such as low noise
amplifiers. As an alternative to switching regulators, system designers opt to use linear regulators given their desirable noise performance; yet, linear regulators are power inefficient.

Similarly, band-select filters are mostly realized off-chip using SAW devices to ensure high frequency selectivity. However, SAW technologies do not currently offer options for size reduction or integration into silicon processes. Furthermore, SAW filters are not programmable, and hence a separate SAW filter must be used for every band of interest if a multiband receiver is desired.

In light of the above, this talk presents techniques for integrating low power switching regulators in wireless receivers. Spur control and noise reduction techniques are demonstrated in a DC-DC converter integrated with a mobile-TV receiver. On the other hand, a monolithic narrowband RF filter will be presented to replace the off-chip SAW filter used in today’s wireless communication systems.

About the Speaker

Dr. Ahmed Emira received the BSc and MSc degrees in electronics and communications from Cairo University, Egypt, in 1997 and 1999, respectively. In December 2003, he received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

From 2001 to 2002, he was with Motorola, Austin, TX where he worked as an RFIC design engineer. Following his PhD, he worked as an RFIC design engineer in the wireless division of Silicon Laboratories, Austin, TX, from 2003 to 2006. Then he worked as a senior RFIC design engineer and a leader for the power management team in Newport Media Inc., Lake Forest, CA from 2006 to 2008. He joined Cairo University as an assistant professor in the electronics and communications department in 2008, and is currently on leave as a visiting scholar at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Emira has more than 35 journal and conference publications, four US patents and several pending. His current interests include low power mixed-signal circuits for portable devices and energy harvesting systems, RF circuits, MEMS interface electronics, and wireless communication systems architectures. Dr. Emira actively consults for a number of companies such as MEMS Vision and Newport Media Inc. He received the Third Best Student Paper award in the IEEE RFIC, Seattle, WA, in 2002.