Microelectronics and Software Systems
devicesMicroelectronics, computer networks, and software systems are enabling technologies for a large portion of the Canadian economy. The Microelectronics and Software Systems Laboratory focuses on hardware-software system design using a variety of CAD and CASE tools, on adaptive data modelling and pattern recognition, and on computer networking technology.

Hardware development includes board-level designs based on commercial microprocessors and memory, digital signal processors, and field-programmable devices such as FPGAs. In addition, full custom CMOS, BiCMOS and GaAs chips are designed and fabricated through the Canadian Microelectronics Corporation using Nortel and other foundry services. Specialized measurement and testing methods have also been developed in this laboratory for high-frequency circuits, including noninvasive microprobe methods.

The laboratory is involved in the design and analysis of computer networks, especially high-bandwidth networks based on asynchronous transfer mode and related protocols. This includes traffic modelling and system performance studies, as well as monitoring and management of large-scale network resources. Research is underway in wireless mobile computing, personal communications, and ubiquitous computing. This includes embedded hardware and software systems for adaptive appliances, educational toys and mobile robots. Mobile robots employ microcontroller boards with A/D interfaces and interactive C programming. Related projects are adaptive web programs and mobile agents based upon Java software.

Another focus of this laboratory is on pattern recognition using artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and related statistical methods for the design and analysis of computer systems and networks.
Algorithms and hardware are explored for signal processing, data compression, adaptive systems, and computer networking tasks. Object-oriented software engineering methods are employed in hardware-software co-design. Internet and Intranet innovations, and web-based tools and services are pursued through the Internet Innovation Centre. There are also connections with TRLabs and several local hardware and software companies through joint research and graduate student support.

Equipment:

    * A network of 30 Sun workstations
    * CAD software: Cadence, Mentor, Altera, Xilinx.
    * FPGA development systems
    * Artificial neural network simulators

Clients:

    * TRLabs
    * Nortel
    * Gennum
    * Mitel
    * Semiconductor Insights
    * Chipworks
    * Manitoba Hydro
    * Infomagnetics