Sevil Zeynep Lulec, University of Toronto. “Innovative Circuit Design Techniques for Wireless RF Transceivers with High Configurability and Low Power”

Position:  PhD Candidate

Current Institution:  University of Toronto

Abstract:  Innovative Circuit Design Techniques for Wireless RF Transceivers with High Configurability and Low Power

The wireless industry has witnessed vast subscriber growth in the past decade. The diffusion of smartphones has contributed to increased data revenues which are expected to become even more important in coming years in light of 5G platforms. To satisfy the growing demands, a smartphone needs to be compatible with the latest as well as the previous standards, resulting in the accommodation of multiple transceivers. A software-defined radio (SDR) is a hypothetical concept that envisions a single transceiver for the entire cellular system and thus greatly reduces the overall required power, area, and cost. An SDR should be highly configurable, can tune to any band, and receive/transmit any modulation across a wide range of standards. In line with these trends, my research focuses on discrete-time implementations for wireless transceivers and mainly on the passive-switched-capacitor (PSC) circuits. PSC circuits do not require an active element and can achieve high dynamic range with accurate, configurable characteristics with low power. However, PSCs have a few limitations: first, only real poles can be realized, limiting the minimum power and area consumption; second, their analysis is not intuitive and requires tedious charge-balance equations. My research addresses these limitations by introducing a continuous-time model for easy analysis and design of PSC circuits. By using the model, known structures can be analyzed in a simplified way that allows intuitive understanding and advanced designs that were not possible before. For example, I demonstrated a filter prototype that pushes the state of the art. This work can also branch out into new directions by employing machine learning techniques that can potentially replace filters in radios, ADCs, and sensor front-ends with high dynamic range, configurable, and technology-scaling friendly PSC counterparts.

S. Zeynep Lulec is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, supervised by Professor Antonio Liscidini and Professor David Johns.  Her studies focus on innovative, highly configurable discrete-time circuits that can help the realization of software-defined radio architectures for the next generation wireless systems.  She received a bachelor’s degree from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey in 2008 and a master’s degree from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in 2010, both in electrical and electronics engineering.  She worked as a research engineer in Optical Microsystems Laboratory at Koc University and at the METU-MEMS Research and Applications Center, both in Turkey. Her research interests include analog mixed-signal and sensor front-end IC design.  She received an EPFL excellence scholarship and an ADI outstanding student-designer award.  She is a member of IEEE SSCS YP Committee and founding board member of METU Alumni Association of Canada.