Mixed-Signal Research at the University of Arkansas¶
Welcome to the University of Arkansas Mixed Signal Computer Aided Design (MSCAD) Laboratory homepage. This laboratory is located at the Cato Springs Research Center and is directed by Dr. Alan Mantooth.
New Circuit Designs Function at Temperatures Greater than 650 F¶
Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have designed integrated circuits that can survive at temperatures greater than 350 C—or roughly 660 F. Their work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will improve the functioning of processors, drivers, controllers and other analog and digital circuits used in power electronics, automobiles and aerospace equipment—all of which must perform at high and often extreme temperatures.
“This ruggedness allows these circuits to be placed in locations where standard silicon-based parts can’t survive,” said Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor. “The circuit blocks we designed contributed to superior performance of signal processing, controllers and driver circuitry. We are extremely excited about the results so far.”
The researchers worked with silicon carbide, a semiconducting material that is more rugged than conventional materials used in electronics. Silicon carbide is able to withstand extremely high voltage and is a good thermal conductor, meaning it can operate at high temperatures without requiring extra equipment to remove heat.
The research team, led by Mantooth and Jia Di, professor of computer engineering, achieved the higher performance by combining silicon carbide with wide temperature design techniques. In the world of power electronics and integrated circuits, their work represents the first implementation of a number of fundamental analog, digital and mixed-signal blocks, such as a phase-locked loop using a complimentary-style silicon carbide technology.
The research was part of the National Science Foundation’s Building Innovation Capacity program, which is designed to partner university and industry research to build intellectual collaborations so that innovations flow from ideas to solid research results, company prototypes and products. The University of Arkansas and two Fayetteville technology firms, Ozark Integrated Circuits and Arkansas Power Electronics International, form the basis for this innovation ecosystem. Raytheon is also a key partner.
Mixed-Signal Group Part of R&D 100 Award Winning Product for 2014¶
A team led by Arkansas Power Electronics International has won a 2014 R&D 100 award for the development of a battery charger for the Toyota Prius. A collaborative research partnership, the project includes four other entities — Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, an academic research center based at the University of Arkansas; Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cree Inc. The collaboration is funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Mixed-Signal group worked closely with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cree to develop the first fully-integrated gate drivers in Silicon Carbide in support of this effort.
In 2009, APEI received its first R&D 100 award for a high-temperature silicon carbide power module that was the result of a collaboration with the University of Arkansas and Rohm Co. Ltd. The module can greatly reduce the size and volume of power electronic system.
Work in SiC Integrated Circuits Presented at 2014 IMAPS High Temperature Conference¶
The UA had two papers presented at the international Conference on High Temperature Electronics (HiTEC 2014), May 13-15th in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 P. Shepherd, et al. “Integrated Protection Circuits for an NMOS Silicon Carbide Gate Driver IC,” IMAPS High Temperature Electronics Conference (HiTEC) 2014, Albuquerque, NM, May 2014.
 P. Shepherd, et al. “500kHz-5MHz Phase-Locked Loops in High-Temperature Silicon Carbide CMOS” IMAPS High Temperature Electronics Conference (HiTEC) 2014, Albuquerque, NM, May 2014.
Work in SiC CMOS Integrated Circuit Presented at 2014 GOMAC¶
The UA’s collaborative work in integrated CMOS silicon carbide circuits with Raytheon and Ozark Integrated Circuits was presetened at the 2014 GOMAC conference in Charleston, South Carolina.
Landon Caley, “Delay-Insensitive Asynchronous Silicon Carbide Integrated Circuit Design for High-Temperature Applications,” GOMAC 2014, Mar. 2014.
A. M. Francis and Et. Al., “Design of Analog and Mixed-Signal Integrated SiC CMOS Circuits with High Fidelity Process Design Kits,” GOMAC 2014, Mar. 2014.
New Publications in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics¶
The MSCAD group is pleased to announce three new papers in the second and fifth issues of IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics for 2014, now available online. The May (fifth) issue is a Special issue on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and their Applications.
 N. Ericson, S. Frank, C. Britton, L. Marlino, S.-H. Ryu, D. Grider, A. Mantooth, M. Francis, R. Lamichhane, M. Mudholkar, P. Shepherd, M. Glover, J. Valle-Mayorga, T. McNutt, A. Barkley, B. Whitaker, Z. Cole, B. Passmore, and A. Lostetter, “A 4H Silicon Carbide Gate Buffer for Integrated Power Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 539–542, 2014.
 J. A. Valle-Mayorga, A. Rahman, and H. A. Mantooth, “A SiC NMOS Linear Voltage Regulator for High-Temperature Applications,” IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 2321–2328, 2014.
 M. Mudholkar, S. Ahmed, M. N. Ericson, S. S. Frank, C. L. Britton, and H. A. Mantooth, “Datasheet Driven Silicon Carbide Power MOSFET Model,” IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 2220–2228, 2014.
Patent Issues on UA-MSCAD Developed Modeling Method¶
The MSCAD Lab is happy to announce the issue of a patent for it’s unique characterization method for LDMOS devices. The patent, “Method for modeling and parameter extraction of LDMOS devices” formally issued on December 17, 2013 and has been assigned number 8,608,376.
Thanks for Attending PEDG 2013 in Rogers, AR!¶
We would like to thank everyone who attended the Fourth IEEE Conference on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems, July 8-11, 2013 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, AR, near the University of Arkansas campus. Visit http://www.pedg2013.org for more information about this great event.
SiC IC Design Efforts Highlighted at ARPA-e Summit with Sec. Steven Chu Visit¶
The efforts of the ARPA-E program team lead by Arkansas Power Electronics, Inc and team members from Cree, Oak Ridge National Labs, Toyota and the University of Arkansas was recently highlighted at the ARPA-E Summit in Washington DC by a visit from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
The University of Arkansas and Oak Ridge IC team is developing ground-breaking all-SiC gate drivers in a process developed by Cree including next-generation SiC power MOSFETs. APEI is deploying these drivers and MOSFETs into a ultra-efficient, compact replacement charger for the next-generation Toyota Prius.
Alan Mantooth Profile Featured in NW Arkansas Times¶
Dr. Alan Mantooth’s research accomplishments were recently featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Profiles section.
UA Professor Alan Mantooth Selected to Present at SEC Symposium¶
Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, as been selected to present his research on the “smart power router” at the inagural SEC Symposium.
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MSCAD REU Students Place 2nd in Carver Program Poster Contest¶
Congratulations to REU students Shaun Branch and CeDale Smith who placed 2nd overall in the Washing Carver REU poster contest. The poster described their summer research in automated power module synthesis under the NSF-GRAPES program.
UA Electric Car Research Featured by the Arkansas Traveler¶
“As a fairly ‘green’ and cost-efficient source of transportation, electric vehicles are here to stay, a UA professor conducting research on the subject said. UA Professor Alan Mantooth specializes in active research of Smart Power, catering for electric vehicles, which will decrease dependency on petroleum....”
Alan Mantooth “Featured Engineer” on EEWeb¶
Dr. Alan Mantooth was recently featured on EEWeb’s “Featured Engineer” series. Read the full article here:
Alan Mantooth Recieves Faculty Research Professor Award for 2011¶
“Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and the Twenty-First Century Chair in Mixed-Signal IC Design and CAD in the College of Engineering, is the recipient for research. Mantooth is recognized internationally as one of the world’s leading engineers in the development of modeling and simulation software specifically for use in power electronics circuit design, and the first to develop many of the models and techniques in commercial use today. A holder of multiple patents, he has led the start-up of two companies Lynguent Inc. and Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc. Together, these companies employ more than 35 engineers in Fayetteville as well as sales and administrative staff in the United States, Korea and Japan.
He has spearheaded teams leading to the formation of three research centers, two of them sponsored by the National Science Foundation and private companies like Texas Instruments and Toyota Technology Research Center. He also helped establish the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmissions at the university in 2005 and serves as its director. In addition to earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Arkansas, Mantooth received a doctoral degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990....”
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