Dissertation talk: Ultrasonic 3D Rangefinder on a Chip

Colloquium: Departmental | December 3 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | 540 Cory Hall

 Richard J Przybyla, Electrical Engineering, UC Berkeley

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Title: Ultrasonic 3D Rangefinder on a Chip
Speaker: Richard J. Przybyla
Advisor: Prof. Bernhard E. Boser
Time and Location: BSAC seminar, Tuesday 12/3/2013, 12:30pm, 540 Cory Hall (lunch provided; sign up required)

Optical 3D imagers for gesture recognition, such as Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion, suffer from large size and high power consumption. Their performance depends on ambient illumination and they generally cannot operate in sunlight. These factors have prevented widespread adoption of gesture interfaces in energy- and volume-limited environments such as tablets and smartphones. Gesture recognition using sound is an attractive candidate to overcome these difficulties because of the potential for chip-scale solution size, low power consumption, and ambient light insensitivity. Our research focuses on building a 3D ultrasonic rangefinder system using batch-fabricated micromachined aluminum nitride (AlN) ultrasonic transducer arrays and custom CMOS electronics.

In this talk, I will present the design methodology for a prototype ultrasonic rangefinder system. I will show how the choice of basic system specifications affects the mechanical transducer design and the interface circuit design. I will present a physics-based model of an ultrasound transducer which accurately predicts device operation. I will present measured results from an ultrasonic 3D gesture recognition system which uses an array of AlN MEMS transducers and custom readout electronics to localize targets over a +/-45o field of view up to 1m away. The 0.18μm CMOS readout ASIC comprises 10 independent channels with separate high voltage transmitters, readout amplifiers, and ADCs. Power dissipation is 400μW at 30fps, and scales to 5μW/ch at 10fps.

 rjp@eecs.berkeley.edu, 510-281-2643