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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-04082008-150249

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Thesis title
Design of integrated mixed-signal IPs for automotive applications
Academic discipline
Course of study
Relatore Prof. Fanucci, Luca
Relatore Prof. Saletti, Roberto
  • automotive
  • high voltage driver
  • MEMS
  • platform
  • sensor interface
Graduation session start date
Release date
An ever-increasing range of sophisticated and leading-edge electronic technologies emerging into the automotive field makes this one of the most dynamic but even complicated manufacturing sector in the world. Car companies are convinced that electronic is the key to meet different and often divergent requirements such as high-safety vehicles, comfort, infotainment, gas emission reduction, power saving, low cost technologies and short time to market. For these reasons the expectations on the electronic automotive systems are very high since it seems to be the major factor of innovation technology and differentiation in a more and more competitive market field.
The hardness of this market scenario has a direct impact on the complexity of electronic systems. Many features on modern medium-segment cars are based on high performance Electronic Control Units dealing with up to 2500 signals. As a consequence the number of sensing and actuating elements hidden into the body or the chassis of a car is growing continuously. Moreover as many hydraulic and mechanical actuators are replaced by power consuming electronic components and new entertainment features are provided to meet customer’s requests, power saving becomes an issue even in the automotive field.
The PhD research activity has been focused on the design of integrated electronic systems for the automotive fields. The new requirements of the automotive market together with the necessity to reduce time to market imply a complete review of the electronic systems design flows. For these reasons the PhD activities have been always leaded following a platform based design approach in order to give a proper answer to the aforementioned requirements and to give a more efficient alternative to the actual design approaches.
Chapter 1 of this thesis explains in much more details the automotive market requirements focusing on the characteristics of each particular segment and presenting the main actual and future automotive applications. A particular attention is given to the electronic automotive challenges and design issues implied by this scenario that has motivated the overall PhD activities.
Chapter 2 starts with the presentation of the actual state of the art of the methodologies used in the electronic automotive field and continues with the description of the proposed platform called Intelligent Sensor InterFace (ISIF). ISIF is a platform targeted to interface automotive sensors and is composed by a high number of highly programmable software and hardware IPs. The platform has been integrated in a 0.35 um Bipolar CMOS DMOS (BCD) technology supplied by STMicroelectronics. Some case studies regarding fast prototyping possibilities with ISIF are presented: a magneto-resistive position sensor and two capacitive inertial sensors (in collaboration with SensorDynamics AG), a gyro and a low-g YZ accelerometer.
Chapter 3 describes the extension of the ISIF application space to high power automotive systems and to laser based video projection systems: High power automotive systems are gaining importance during the last years since many mechanical and hydraulic features are completely transferred to electronic systems. In this thesis the design and test of a programmable MOS half bridge driver featuring low ElectroMagnetic Interferences (EMIs) and targeted to electric motor and antenna driving is presented.
Laser based video projection systems are expected to find a wide utilization for the realization of new generation automotive head up displays thanks to the recent advance of Micro-Opto-Electromechanical Systems (MOEMS) and visible laser sources. The thesis shows in details the technical characteristics of this topic and describes the design and simulation results of a scanning micromirrors high voltage driver in a 0.18 um BCD technology supplied by STMicroelectronics.