/Pixel-parallel ultra-low-power slope-based ADC design for large array chemical sensor readout ASICs

Pixel-parallel ultra-low-power slope-based ADC design for large array chemical sensor readout ASICs

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Towards 10 dollar per genome

In the past 20 years, the sequencing community has succeeded in reducing the cost per genome by a million-fold – from 100,000,000 to 1,000 dollar per genome. Today, the ambitious goal is to further reduce this to 10 dollar per genome.


To reach this ambitious goal, CMOS readout array ASICs are key. In large pixel-dense arrays, multiple DNA strands or proteomes can be analyzed in parallel. Looking at the traditional imaging field, 3D-stacking and advanced nodes have enabled pixel-parallel analog-to-digital conversion, meaning each pixel has its own ADC. This allows large pixel density together with high framerates. For electrochemical readout arrays, a similar approach can be taken. In this thesis, we explore an area-critical slope-ADC targeting megapixel arrays.


After studying the current literature on electrochemical readout array ADCs and imaging slope-ADCs, the first goal is to envision an appropriate architecture that fits the specifications at hand. Secondly, a transistor level design and verification cycle will concretize the ADC. Lastly, layout of the transistor level schematic will prepare for a potential tape-out. 


For design, verification, and layout we use the industry standard tools (Cadence Virtuoso, Mentor Graphics Calibre) and have high computational power servers available.


Content of the thesis:

  • Literature study/theoretical (30%)
  • Architecture definition & transistor level design (60%)
  • Layout (10%)


Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 9 months

Required degree: Master of Science

Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Wim Sijbers (Wim.Sijbers@imec.be) and Qiuyang Lin (Qiuyang.Lin@imec.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.