Ultra-Low-Power Integrated Circuit Design for Biomedical Diagnostics and Beyond

10:00am - 11:00am
ECE Conference room 2515-2516 (2/F via lifts 25/26), HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon

Advances in ultra-low-power (ULP) integrated circuit (IC) design have brought to the world new promises for early-stage disease discovery and chronic disease management. With aggressive power reduction, these circuits now allow smart, implantable sensor platforms to get powered and become visible under biomedical imaging processes. The possibility to register in vivo sensing results directly on the anatomic map offer the next leap in the smart implants’ diagnostic value. This ambitious vision, named augmented biomedical imaging, offers a glimpse of the ULP IC design’s revolutionary potential in biomedical diagnostics, when sensing, processing, energy harvesting, and data telemetry all together can be accomplished in the nano-watts regime within a mm-scale volume.


This talk will first cover our latest attempts to build a ULP ASIC that interacts with medical B-mode ultrasound, which leads to the prototype named augmented ultrasonography. This prototype serves as a starting point, that inspired several specific research thrusts in ULP IC design, including a 0.72 nW pH sensor, a 0.66 nW 256 kb SRAM, and a 0.95 nW crystal oscillator. The last part of the talk discusses the little-explored synergy between ULP IC design and biomedical applications and the inspiration it offers for the future.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Dr. Yihan Zhang
Postdoctoral Fellow, Peking University

Yihan Zhang received the B.Eng. degree in microelectronics from Tsinghua University, Beijing China, in 2013, the M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, NY, USA in 2014, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University, NY, USA, in 2020.


His doctoral work focuses on integrated circuit design for miniaturized and ultra-low-power implantable systems for biomedical research, exploring their use in the next generation of biomedical diagnostic systems. His current research interest covers circuits and systems for miniaturized biomedical implants, ultrasound-based power and data links, energy harvesting circuits, and ultra-low-power mixed signal circuits. Dr. Zhang’s research work has been published in various journals, including Nature Communications, PNAS, JSSC, as well as top-tier circuit conferences including ISSCC, VLSI, and CICC. He also serves as a reviewer for JSSC and TCAS-I. Dr. Zhang is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Peking University, where he has received the Young Scientist Grant from NSFC and the National Key R&D Program of China.

Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering
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