Actuator/Stimulator SoC

Actuators and stimulators, e.g. for motion control or medical applications, often require specialized semiconductor devices or voltages beyond the ratings of core logic devices. The wide array of mixed signal semiconductor processes that have recently become available can enable significant savings in size, cost and power with an optimized, custom System-on-Chip design. Either high speed or wireless command data comes into receivers (RCVs), is filtered and buffered by onchip logic under control of an embedded processor, and fed to digital-to-analog converters (DACs) whose voltage and current range is tuned to the project requirements. Feedback signals from the actuators or electrodes are input to a set of M low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) to boost low-level analog signals for conversion by a smaller number of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). Support circuits minimize the need for external components, and include wired or wireless power management, voltage and current reference circuitry (Vref, Iref), and a phase-locked-loop (PLL) to generate clocks. Due to the wide variations in requirements for these SoCs, and the recent introduction of specialized processes, neither highly integrated off-the-shelf solutions nor analog circuit IP is broadly available.