The LACIME’s main activities are centered around the convergence of two major research fields, communications and microelectronics, allowing the exploitation of their natural complementarity.

The group’s research activities are conducted with a view to improving current communications and telecommunications by optimally using the potential offered by microelectronics.

This goal is at the heart of all six main components of the LACIME’s research objectives.

Improvement of wireless system transmission reliability

Reliability improvement is aimed at reducing transmission errors, and such an improvement can be viewed through three lenses. On the one hand, the goal could be to increase the transmission quality for a given transmitting power. On the other hand, it may be to reduce the transmitting power for a given transmission quality. Finally, for a given quality and transmitting power, this reduction may allow the sharing of a transmission channel between a greater number of users.

More efficient use of available bandwidth

The more efficient use of available bandwidth refers to the ability to increase the information transfer rate within the confines of certain limits imposed through frequency band allocations. An example is the use of MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and modulation techniques allowing modulators/demodulators (modems) to achieve higher data throughputs over cellular or point-to-point transmission links.

Development of competing and integrated architectures

Competing and integrated achievement implies a more efficient use of available new technologies in order to obtain faster or more compact systems or systems allowing the exploitation of unused frequency bands. This includes the use of programmable and dedicated VLSI integrated circuits which, thanks to their superior level of integration and operating speeds, pave the way for the development of architectures that are better suited for the telecommunications systems of the future. Other applications are also targeted, including image processing and non destructive ultrasonic-based testing.

Development of testing and diagnostic methods for integrated circuits and systems

Two types of developments can be isolated in this sector. The first relates to integrated circuits, and is primarily based on a static current use and on various processing methods applied to current measures. The second type covers the complete testing and diagnosis of systems, of telecommunications, etc., where the strategies developed are included in the design process in order to facilitate the validation and integration of such systems.

Improvement of robustness of communications and navigation systems

Current and projected work covers the development of strategies for improving the robustness of CDMA systems, among others. For example, they cover the development of innovative filtering systems to act as means of providing resistance to the jamming of useful signals, or the development of blind positioning techniques (by inertia) complementing GPS, where the goal is to hybridize a GPS receiver in an electronic inertial system. In the near term, and in collaboration with industry, work is planned on adapting a Canadian GPS to space environment and on the creation of a Mono-ASIC Anti-Jamming system.

In the medium term, the use of an MEMS (Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems) in an electronic inertial system will allow a reduction of its size as well as an increase in the reliability, precision, availability and robustness of radionavigation receivers of the future. In the longer term, the plan is to design a complete GPS receiver on a single chip, which will be equipped with advanced digitization that is integrated into the radiofrequency (RF) stages.

Modeling and development of broadband microwave components and RF circuits

This section brings together various projects dealing with the modeling of bipolar heterojunction transistors in hyperfrequencies or on coplanar MMIC technology circuits. We should also mention work on developing broadband microwave components and RF circuits, which are more efficient in terms of frequency, for wireless communications systems. This includes the exploration of greater interaction between the RF portions and the baseband and intermediate frequency (IF) systems.

This exploration should be carried out globally, with the three ranges taken together: baseband, intermediate frequency and radio frequency. This approach is innovative by itself, when compared with traditional approaches, in which designs are carried out separately for each range. We may, for example, consider the development of hybrid strategies for carrier robust frequency recovery or adaptive control of the power amplifiers operating point, to achieve greater linearity. The end result should be the design of dedicated high speed analog and mixed circuits.