The focus of MCCI is on Analogue, RF and Mixed-Signal circuit research. The theme and core competence of the centre is Digitally-Assisted-Analogue circuit research.
There are many drivers for Digitally-Assisted-Analogue design including mitigating reduced operating voltage headroom, lack of analogue scaling in power/area and increased variability in nanometer nodes. Test of Analogue components on an SoC now accounts for 75% of the overall test time andin some applications the costs of Analogue test are higher than the manufacturing costs of that part.
With the movement towards fabless and fab-lite business models as well as increased numbers of IC derivatives, simplified Analog with increased Digital assistance can improve porting speed and the chances of first-time-right silicon.
There are many applications requiring increasing communications data throughput where the performance required may only be achieved with Digitally-Assisted-Analogue. Wireless convergence drives areas such as Software Defined Radio which demand unprecedented levels of flexibility.
Finally almost all new applications require drastically reduced power consumption due to new energy regulations, thermal issues in nanometer technologies as well as a desire to increase battery lifetime and reduce packaging costs. Digitally-Assisted-Analogue techniques can be applied to dramatically improve the efficiency of circuits including power supplies.