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EE Student Wins TECHCON 2014 Best in Session award

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mohamed Nour
Mohamed Nour

Mohamed Nour, a doctoral student in Zeynep Çelik-Butler’s lab, won the Best in Session award for his paper that characterized and detected problems in analog devices.

TECHCON 2014 is a conference sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corp. It brings together the brightest minds in microelectronics research to exchange ideas about the state of the industry and research in that industry. SRC has defined collaborative research in the semiconductor industry for more than 30 years.

Çelik-Butler said there are physical defects in the material that makes up those analog circuits. She said Nour characterized those electrical defects using the fluctuation of the signal.

Nour’s work could identify where in the analog circuit the signal problem existed.

He said analog integrated circuits act as a bridge between the outside world and the digital integrated circuits, where information is handled and processed in discrete levels of signals.

For example, an analog sensor converts a person’s voice to a signal in a cell phone. Analog circuits are also used in sensors that detect whether a vehicle’s tire is low or whether the air bag will deploy. Analog devices can process continuous levels of signals, but are more susceptible to noise, which are fluctuations in the signals.

In the paper, we analyzed the fluctuations in the signal and formed a correlation between the types of defects and the strength and behavior of these fluctuations.” Nour said. “It’s an honor to work with such great engineers.”

Nour was the principal author of the paper, which was titled: “Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation of Semiconductor/Gate Dielectric Defects using Random Telegraph Signals.” Çelik-Butler also contributed, as did Arif Sonnet, Shaoping Tang, Fan-Chi Hou and Rick Wise of Texas Instruments. The work is part of a three-year contract under the direction of Dr. Çelik-Butler, sponsored by SRC with liaisons from Texas Instruments, Intel, Global Foundries and AMAT.