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Large physics instruments like high-power lasers, synchrotrons, and particle accelerators are all equipped with delay generators that coordinate events within a very short timeframe (10-12 second). Greenfield Technology, a company that designs and manufactures measurement and testing equipment for research, turned to CEA Tech's Nouvelle Aquitaine regional center for support developing a delay component.
Specifically, Leti was asked to miniaturize an existing delay generator built from surface-mounted devices. The solution was to integrate several delay functions onto a single CMOS integrated circuit. The circuit, which boasts four independent delay channels, offers exceptional precision, very high resolution (with an adjustment pitch of less than 1 picosecond), very low jitter, and very good stability. The circuit also includes a self-calibration feature and I/O interfaces that comply with major industrial standards (PECL, SPI, 3.3 V input, QFN). The component's groundbreaking features and performance will help Greenfield Technology remain competitive.
An initial prototype is currently being tested. The early results show that most of the specifications have been met.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.