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Electronics meets physics, biology and chemistry at uniquely Canadian conference

This summer saw the Whistler resort in British Columbia play host to a uniquely Canadian technology conference, CMOS Emerging Technologies (CMOS-ET). 


CMOS-ET (http://cmoset.com) was founded by Kris Iniewski, then at the University of Alberta and currently with Redlen Technologies (www.redlen.com/). The CMOS conference (Communications, Microsystems, Optoelectronics & Sensors, not Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) is intended to be a research and business event for those who want to discuss and find out about new exciting high tech opportunities. It is a place where electronics meet physics, biology and chemistry.

In its 8th year it is showing no showing signs of slowing down. Almost 300 delegates drawn from around the globe attended from June 15 to 17, setting a new record for the event. Equally as impressive is that the event is self-funding and is not attached to any commercial activity allowing the organizers and attendees alike to focus on the speakers, papers and networking opportunities, a seriously technical conference.

The format of the talks resembled in-depth tutorials describing state-of-the-art technology and future research directions, rather than presenting specific research results or commercial products. Session topics were varied and included Biotechnology, Microsystems, Nanomaterials, Imaging and Sensors, Nanoelectronics, Wireless, Photonics, VLSI, Medicine & Medical Devices, as well as emerging industry trends.

The program itself is too long to describe, however, speakers from many of the world’s most famous research institutes, universities and businesses presented on topics as diverse as wearable healthcare, nanowire tunnel FETS, thermal management, silicon photonics and Multi Qubit quantum computing to MEMS energy harvesters, SOI CMOS for wireless phase change memory, bio-molecular scale engineering, GaN nanowires and implantable CMOS sensors.

Also of significance was the presentation from Canada’s CMC Microsystems (www.cmc.ca) about the new emSYSCAN project, a 5-year, $48 million project involving university researchers in 37 institutions. emSYSCAN infrastructure will shorten the microsystems development cycle leading to rapid commercialization, publication, and training of highly qualified personnel within a national and international multi-disciplinary research environment.

The project is one of several connected with CMC Microsystems, the manager of the National Design Network (NDN), a growing community of researchers which currently includes 46 universities and colleges across Canada, and over 2,500 faculty and graduate students. emSYSCAN represents a multi-government investment in growing electronics infrastructure across the country and addresses the growing need for microelectronics and microsystems to be developed in a systems context.

With the innovation and excitement of the Canadian researchers and the investment from Canadian governments in commercializable research, it is clear our technology industry has lots of room to grow and blossom.

Next year, CMOS-ET 2012 will be in Vancouver at the Hyatt Regency Hotel from July 18-20. Information is available at http://cmoset.com.

Nick Deeble is president and CEO of Deeble Sales Management (www.deeblesales.com) and a member of the Canadian Electronics Editorial Advisory Board.