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MICS ― Mixed-Signal IC and System Group ―

Seoul National University ―

Mixed-Signal IC and System Group at SNU

We at Mixed-Signal IC and System (MICS) Group strive for "efficient IC design". In other words, we are not only interested in the design of integrated circuits that perform well, but also in efficient approaches to designing such circuits and verifying them.


With this goal, we are pursuing the following three main directions. Each of these directions can be thought of as an effort to adopt the key technologies for digital design automation into analog IC design.

First

We are investigating effective ways to model analog circuits and simulate them. It is because succinctly describing the functionality of analog circuits is the first step towards analog design automation. The XMODEL simulator developed by the MICS Group is now successfully commercialized by its spin-off company, Scientific Analog, Inc., and is being used by many customers in Korea, US, China, Japan, and Europe.

Second

We are developing ways to build analog circuit using cells instead of transistors. In fact, we have demonstrated that various high-performance, low-power analog/mixed-signal ICs can be easily built by putting together well-defined building blocks rather than designing at transistor levels. This library of analog cells we call “ACL” is now being distributed to other universities in Korea via IDEC.

Third

We are exploring ways to build field-programmable analog ICs. Such an analog FPGA can realize various analog ICs simply by programming without IC fabrication, which is expected to have a key role in developing diverse analog ICs with very short time-to-market and low costs. Interestingly, the analog FPGA we developed has a lot of resemblance with a neuromorphic circuit that mimics the human brain.

We are confident that our “efficient IC design” approaches will effectively address these challenges and will be adopted by IC designers in the near future. We invite everyone who wish to lead this change!