ARPIC

ARPIC – An Academic Platform for IC Development 

Brief Description

The Academic Romanian Platform for IC development - “ARPIC” – is an open cooperation framework targeting the joint development and silicon implementation of integrated circuits for teaching and academic research purposes. It was founded in 2012 by academics from three Romanian universities: the University ‘POLITEHNICA’ University of Bucharest, the “Technical University of Cluj-Napoca” and the ‘Gheorghe Asachi’ Technical University of Iasi.

The operation of the ARPIC platform is largely based on resonantly sharing the Academic and industrial expertise of the participating research and teaching groups. Its main goal is to provide a framework for the design and prototyping small- and medium-size IC projects, developed by teaching staff and/or postgraduate students. In this way even small-scale projects run by postgraduate students can be implemented in silicon, allowing them to get the essential hands-on experience of going through the entire IC development cycle.

The 1st test chip developed through ARPIC

In March 2013 the first test chip realized through the ARPIC framework was sent to fab; it contained 20  functional blocks developed by teams within the three participating universities, comprising over 20 academics and postgraduate students.

The test chip was implemented in the AMS H18 process, and occupied 9mm2, prepared for a 64-pin CQFP package

 

Top-level view of the test chip; with several of the functional blocks highlighted:

2G45 PLL = 2.45 GHz frequency synthesizer, ΣΔM = ΣΔ modulator, ADC = analog-to-digital converter, BG = bandgap reference, BPF = tunable bandpass filter, CFIA = current feedback instrumentation amplifier, CM = capacitance multiplier, CNN = cellular neural network, CSE = current sensor, LDOs = low-dropout regulators, Offset Comp = amplifier with offset cancellation circuit, OHM = Impedance meter, PPF = Polyphase filter, VCO = voltage-controlled oscillator.