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A Hardware Platform for Software-driven Functional Metasurfaces (VisorSurf)
Funding Agency: EU H2020 FETOPEN-1-2016-2017
Project Funding: € 1,103,625 of €5,748,000
Project Duration: 42 months
Project Description:

Metasurfaces, thin film planar, artificial structures, have recently enabled the realization of novel electromagnetic components with engineered and even unnatural functionalities. These include electromagnetic invisibility of objects (cloaking), total radiation absorption, filtering and steering of EM waves, giving the ability to make ultra-efficient, miniaturized antennas for sensors and implantable communication devices. Currently, metasurfaces are presently non-adaptive and non-reusable, restricting their applicability to a single functionality per structure and respond to a narrow range of frequencies.

VISORSURF proposes a hardware platform, the HyperSurface, that can host metasurface functionalities, driven by software. The HyperSurface essentially merges existing metasurfaces with microelectronics to provide a reconfigurable metasurface, whose properties can be changed externally via a software interface. This control is achieved by an array of highly miniaturized chips, physically embedded into the structure of the metasurface. The controllers receive programmatic directives and perform alterations on the metasurface structure, adjusting its electromagnetic behavior.

The task assigned to the HERL is that of designing and testing the highly miniturised system-on-chips to be embedded within the HyperSurface, which reconfigure the conductive surfaces to adapt electromagnetic properties, whilst also communicating bi-directionally with other nodes within the metasurface and beyond.

 
 
COST Action IC1401: Memristors-Devices, Models, Circuits, Systems and Applications (MemoCIS)
Funding Agency: EU H2020
Project Funding: €446,000
Project Duration: 48 months
Project Description:

The invention of the “transfer resistor”, or “transistor” as it is know today, is considered to be the greatest invention of the 20th century, as it forms the basis of all electronic systems. The next technological revolution will come through self-organizing and self-programming circuits and systems, which are similar to biological brains in that they can learn to perform tasks. The recently rediscovered Memristor offers a computational substrate with plasticity, in which adaptive circuits can be efficiently implemented. This COST action is aimed at bringing together researchers of different backgrounds to work in unison so as to overcome multidisciplinary barriers in the area of memristors. Bringing together device designers, device modelers, circuit theorists, analogue and digital designers, neuromorphic engineers and computation scientists will enable the defragmentation of current research efforts and is likely the to bring then next technological revolution. The creation of the hardware basis for future self-organizing/self-programming systems will really open up a wide range of application areas and new industries, e.g. humanoid robots to look after the elderly, self-driven vehicles etc.

Find out more about COST Actions

 
 
Development of Rad-hard Non-volatile Flash Memories for Space Applications
Funding Agency: EU FP7
Project Funding: €134,000
Project Duration: 30 months
Project Description:

Electronic circuits in the space environment, which do not enjoy the protection of the earth's atmosphere, are constantly bombarded by high energy particles in addition to being exposed to higher levels of background radiation. Existing approaches to this problem have predominantly been to implement the circuits in a radiation-hardened semiconductor process. In this project we will be building the circuits in a conventional process but the effects of radiation will be mitigated by the actual circuit design. The project will focus on "Flash Memories" as a pilot application.

 
 
Acoustic Scene Analysis for Detecting Living Entities
Funding Agency: EU FP7
Project Funding: €649,760
Project Duration: 36 months
Project Description:

Fundamental to natural cognitive systems is the ability to detect and differentiate other living creatures in the world and to characterise their behaviour. Sound is the primary medium for long distance passive and active interaction between animals, and between animals and their environment; ranging from human speech communication to the active acoustic scene analysis of bats and dolphins using bio-sonar. The ultimate aim of this project is to prototype a real-time distributed system that is capable of forming composite representations of animate entities in the world exclusively through the use of information derived from sounds.

 
 
Memristors for Bioinspired Circuit Design
Funding Agency: Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and European Regional Development Fund
Project Funding: €104,840
Project Duration: 36 months
Project Description:

Biological memristive structures form the fabric of biological computation i.e. synapses, axons etc. Memristors are essentially non-linear resistors whose resistive state depends prior inputs. This project aims to design, simulate, manufacture and characterise new memristive devices, that are CMOS compatible, with view to using them in bio-inspired circuits. The new memristive devices will then be used in conjunction with conventional integrated circuit technology to design computational primatives, such as compact neurons that faithfully implement the Hodgkin and Huxley equations.

 
 
Monitoring of Awareness During Anaesthesia
Funding Agency: Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and European Regional Development Fund
Project Funding: €134,800
Project Duration: 36 months
Project Description:

Anaesthesia is a reversible state of drug-induced unconsciousness. During surgery, the administration of the anaesthetic drugs is accompanied with a neuromuscular blocking agent to prevent patient movements. It is possible that the patient becomes conscious during surgery, but due to the neuromuscular blocking agent, cannot make this evident. In this project we are exploring the usage of EEG signals to assess the depth of anaesthesia, with ultimate aim to produce a hardware solution, which will be used in operating theatres.

 
 
A Biomimetic Imager Suitable for Neural Based Imaging Systems
Funding Agency: Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation
Total Project Funding: €41,450
Project Duration: 15 months
Project Description:
Simple biological creatures such as insects, outperform the most sophisticated robots when it comes to visual navigation in their surroundings. The aim of this project is to develop new imaging sensors/architectures suitable for high speed image recognition that are inspired from biological systems. As in biology we use both analog and digital signal representations in the subthreshold region and asynchronous-time domain. The Sensory Communication and Microsystems Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University is participating in this programme.