Special Issue "Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications"

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A special issue of Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications (ISSN 2079-9268).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Amine Bermak (Website)

Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Fax: +852 23581485
Interests: CMOS Vision Sensor with Pixel level ADC (Digital Pixel Sensors) and intelligent processing; Pulse sensory image capture and processing operations; Address Inter-Event Representation CMOS Image Sensor; Robust Pattern recognition algorithms and reconfigurable neural network classifiers for miniaturized odor-sensing and electronic nose applications; Biometric sensors
Guest Editor
Dr. Man Kay Law (Website)

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau
Phone: +853 8397 8791
Fax: +853 8397 8797

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The wide spread of today’s mobile and portable devices, wireless sensor network technologies as well as cutting-edge biomedical microsystems, such as the camera micro-pill, require sensing front-end that sense data from the environment, process, and transmit data using very low power. It is widely believed that Smart Sensing combined with Radio Frequency transmission as well as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), will be the “killer App” of the future. This special issue constitutes a platform for dissemination of cutting edge research results covering energy-efficient and ultra-low power sensing, processing and RF transmission technologies for various sensing applications such as sensor network, biomedical as well as RFID.

The sensing platform to be considered for this issue cover a wide range of devices whether it is imaging, physical sensing or chemical sensing. Circuit techniques for sensor data interfacing, processing as well as RF communications and Identification will also be the subject of this issue. Such communication capabilities would enable the large scale deployment of sensors where several important constraints must be considered such as low cost, low power consumption and self-calibration to minimize human intervention. Papers proposing circuit and system level techniques tackling relevant issues such as low power and self-calibration are highly encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Amine Bermak
Dr. Man Kay Law
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • circuit and system level design techniques for sensor network applications
  • smart and ultra-low power sensing
  • energy-efficient sensors and interfaces
  • nano-technology for sensing
  • low-power and/or energy efficient temperature sensors
  • energy efficient humidity and gas sensors
  • RF communication and identification for sensors network, smart RFID applications

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Low Power CMOS Imaging System with Smart Image Capture and Adaptive Complexity 2D-DCT Calculation
J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2013, 3(3), 267-278; doi:10.3390/jlpea3030267
Received: 4 February 2013 / Revised: 1 June 2013 / Accepted: 29 July 2013 / Published: 8 August 2013
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Abstract
A novel low power CMOS imaging system with smart image capture and adaptive complexity 2D-Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) is proposed. Compared with the existing imaging systems, it involves the smart image capture and image processing stages cooperating together and is very efficient. [...] Read more.
A novel low power CMOS imaging system with smart image capture and adaptive complexity 2D-Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) is proposed. Compared with the existing imaging systems, it involves the smart image capture and image processing stages cooperating together and is very efficient. The type of each 8 × 8 block is determined during the image capture stage, and then input into the DCT block, along with the pixel values. The 2D-DCT calculation has adaptive computation complexity according to block types. Since the block type prediction has been moved to the front end, no extra time or calculation is needed during image processing or image capturing for prediction. The image sensor with block type decision circuit is implemented in TSMC 0.18 µm CMOS technology. The adaptive complexity 2D-DCT compression is implemented based on Cyclone EP1C20F400C8 device. The performance including the image quality of the reconstructed picture and the power consumption of the imaging system are compared to those of traditional CMOS imaging systems to show the benefit of the proposed low power algorithm. According to simulation, up to 46% of power consumption can be saved during 2D DCT calculation without extra loss of image quality for the reconstructed pictures compared with the conventional compression methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Analog Encoding Voltage—A Key to Ultra-Wide Dynamic Range and Low Power CMOS Image Sensor
J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2013, 3(1), 27-53; doi:10.3390/jlpea3010027
Received: 22 November 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 February 2013 / Published: 22 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Usually Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) sensors that autonomously adjust their integration time to fit intra-scene illumination levels use a separate digital memory unit. This memory contains the data needed for the dynamic range. Motivated by the demands for low power and chip [...] Read more.
Usually Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) sensors that autonomously adjust their integration time to fit intra-scene illumination levels use a separate digital memory unit. This memory contains the data needed for the dynamic range. Motivated by the demands for low power and chip area reduction, we propose a different implementation of the aforementioned WDR algorithm by replacing the external digital memory with an analog in-pixel memory. This memory holds the effective integration time represented by analog encoding voltage (AEV). In addition, we present a “ranging” scheme of configuring the pixel integration time in which the effective integration time is configured at the first half of the frame. This enables a substantial simplification of the pixel control during the rest of the frame and thus allows for a significantly more remarkable DR extension. Furthermore, we present the implementation of “ranging” and AEV concepts on two different designs, which are targeted to reach five and eight decades of DR, respectively. We describe in detail the operation of both systems and provide the post-layout simulation results for the second solution. The simulations show that the second design reaches DR up to 170 dBs. We also provide a comparative analysis in terms of the number of operations per pixel required by our solution and by other widespread WDR algorithms. Based on the calculated results, we conclude that the proposed two designs, using “ranging” and AEV concepts, are attractive, since they obtain a wide dynamic range at high operation speed and low power consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Fully Integrated Solar Energy Harvester and Sensor Interface Circuits for Energy-Efficient Wireless Sensing Applications
J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2013, 3(1), 9-26; doi:10.3390/jlpea3010009
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 11 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 28 February 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an energy-efficient solar energy harvesting and sensing microsystem that harvests solar energy from a micro-power photovoltaic module for autonomous operation of a gas sensor. A fully integrated solar energy harvester stores the harvested energy in a rechargeable NiMH microbattery. [...] Read more.
This paper presents an energy-efficient solar energy harvesting and sensing microsystem that harvests solar energy from a micro-power photovoltaic module for autonomous operation of a gas sensor. A fully integrated solar energy harvester stores the harvested energy in a rechargeable NiMH microbattery. Hydrogen concentration and temperature are measured and converted to a digital value with 12-bit resolution using a fully integrated sensor interface circuit, and a wireless transceiver is used to transmit the measurement results to a base station. As the harvested solar energy varies considerably in different lighting conditions, in order to guarantee autonomous operation of the sensor, the proposed area- and energy-efficient circuit scales the power consumption and performance of the sensor. The power management circuit dynamically decreases the operating frequency of digital circuits and bias currents of analog circuits in the sensor interface circuit and increases the idle time of the transceiver under reduced light intensity. The proposed microsystem has been implemented in a 0.18 µm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process and occupies a core area of only 0.25 mm2. This circuit features a low power consumption of 2.1 µW when operating at its highest performance. It operates with low power supply voltage in the 0.8V to 1.6 V range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications)

Review

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Open AccessReview Synergistic Sensory Platform: Robotic Nurse
J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2013, 3(2), 114-158; doi:10.3390/jlpea3020114
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 26 April 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
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Abstract
This paper presents the concept, structural design and implementation of components of a multifunctional sensory network, consisting of a Mobile Robotic Platform (MRP) and stationary multifunctional sensors, which are wirelessly communicating with the MRP. Each section provides the review of the principles [...] Read more.
This paper presents the concept, structural design and implementation of components of a multifunctional sensory network, consisting of a Mobile Robotic Platform (MRP) and stationary multifunctional sensors, which are wirelessly communicating with the MRP. Each section provides the review of the principles of operation and the network components’ practical implementation. The analysis is focused on the structure of the robotic platform, sensory network and electronics and on the methods of the environment monitoring and data processing algorithms that provide maximal reliability, flexibility and stable operability of the system. The main aim of this project is the development of the Robotic Nurse (RN)—a 24/7 robotic helper for the hospital nurse personnel. To support long-lasting autonomic operation of the platform, all mechanical, electronic and photonic components were designed to provide minimal weight, size and power consumption, while still providing high operational efficiency, accuracy of measurements and adequateness of the sensor response. The stationary sensors serve as the remote “eyes, ears and noses” of the main MRP. After data acquisition, processing and analysing, the robot activates the mobile platform or specific sensors and cameras. The cross-use of data received from sensors of different types provides high reliability of the system. The key RN capabilities are simultaneous monitoring of physical conditions of a large number of patients and alarming in case of an emergency. The robotic platform Nav-2 exploits innovative principles of any-direction motion with omni-wheels, navigation and environment analysis. It includes an innovative mini-laser, the absorption spectrum analyser and a portable, extremely high signal-to-noise ratio spectrometer with two-dimensional detector array. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications)
Figures

Open AccessReview The Art of Directly Interfacing Sensors to Microcontrollers
J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2012, 2(4), 265-281; doi:10.3390/jlpea2040265
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 17 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 November 2012 / Published: 29 November 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the direct connection of sensors to microcontrollers without using any analogue circuit (such as an amplifier or analogue-to-digital converter) in the signal path, thus resulting in a low-cost, lower-power sensor electronic interface. It first discusses the operating principle and [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the direct connection of sensors to microcontrollers without using any analogue circuit (such as an amplifier or analogue-to-digital converter) in the signal path, thus resulting in a low-cost, lower-power sensor electronic interface. It first discusses the operating principle and explains how resistive and capacitive sensors with different topologies (i.e., single, differential and bridge type) can be directly connected to a microcontroller to build the so-called direct interface circuit. It then shows some applications of the proposed circuits using commercial devices and discusses their performance. Finally, it deals with the power consumption and proposes some design guidelines to reduce the current consumption of such circuits in active mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Sensors and Applications)

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