Picture copyright © Teledyne e2v (UK) Ltd 2018
A new chip developed under the European Defence Agency’s THIMS project (Technology for High speed Mixed Signal circuits) has received the 2017 Elektra award for ‘Semiconductor Of The Year - Analog’ by Electronics Weekly, a reputed and longstanding UK-based electronics magazine and website.
The Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) EV12DS460 developed by the French entity of Teledyne e2v based in Grenoble (France) was one of the main outcomes of THIMS project which ran at the EDA till January 2016.
The aim of this project, funded by France and Germany, was to address the key issue of establishing a secure access to high speed mixed analogue and digital circuits, and to strengthen Europe’s defence technological base in this critical domain through exploitation of high speed circuits.
Another objective of THIMS was to increase the conversion bandwidth, reduce the size of circuit areas and cut power consumption. More specifically, the target was to design a DAC for radar applications with high spectral purity (low harmonic spurs) and ultra-wideband (here 7GHz). The outcome of THIMS is the world’s first K-band capable Digital-to-Analog Converter. This component is critical for applications in high purity direct digital frequency synthesis(1), especially for the new generation of radars and software defined radio. It also has great potential for civil, industrial and space-related applications.
The THIMS consortium also included Airbus Defence & Space (defence electronics activities, now Hensoldt GmbH) as well as Thales Airborne Systems.
The chip was developed using Infineon’s Bipolar technology, meaning the whole cycle, from design to production and application, is based on European know-how.
Electronics Weekly runs the annual awards ceremony called ‘The Elektra Awards’ since 2002. The aim of the awards is to reward the achievements of individuals and firms across the European electronics industry.
(1) see articles of French Mod at the IFCS 2017 “Wideband and low phase noise up-converted direct frequency synthesis using high frequency DAC and Oscillator”