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Santin E.,New University of Lisbon | Oliveira L.B.,New University of Lisbon | Oliveira L.B.,RandD IC Unit | Nowacki B.,New University of Lisbon | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers | Year: 2011

This paper presents a reconfigurable architecture for coherent built-in self-testing (BIST) of high speed analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with moderate resolutions. The proposed system is suited to be fully integrated with the ADC and, besides a low jitter clock reference, no other external high quality generators are required. The complete system comprises two synchronized phase-locked loops (PLLs), one based on a two-integrator oscillator capable of providing low distortion outputs and another based on a relaxation oscillator providing low jitter squared output, to allow coherent sampling. A detailed description of the building blocks of both PLLs is given as well as the techniques used to minimize area of the loop filters (LFs), to stabilize the output amplitude of the two-integrator oscillator to a known value, and to improve the total harmonic distortion (THD) of this oscillator. Post-layout simulations, in a 0.13 μ m CMOS technology, of the proposed BIST scheme applied to a case-study 6-bit 1 GS/s ADC are shown and validate the proposed test methodology. © 2011 IEEE.

Figueiredo M.,New University of Lisbon | Santos-Tavares R.,New University of Lisbon | Santin E.,New University of Lisbon | Ferreira J.,New University of Lisbon | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers | Year: 2011

A two-stage fully differential CMOS amplifier comprising inverters as input structures and employing self-biasing techniques is presented. The proposed amplifier benefits from an optimum compensation through time-domain optimization which permits achieving high energy efficiency. Moreover, it achieves the highest efficiency of its class and although it relies on a quasi-class-A topology, it is comparable to class-AB amplifiers. Detailed circuit analyses such as differential-mode, common-mode feedback, noise, slew rate, and input/output range are carried out. Based on these analyses, a manual design methodology and a genetic algorithm based optimization are presented. Finally, the most relevant experimental results for an integrated circuit prototype designed in a 0.13 μm 1.2 V standard CMOS technology are shown. © 2011 IEEE.

Figueiredo M.,New University of Lisbon | Santin E.,New University of Lisbon | Goes J.,New University of Lisbon | Goes J.,S3 Group | And 3 more authors.
Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing | Year: 2013

The pursuit for energy and area efficient circuits has become greater than ever. Low power and small area integrated circuits are in high demand today. Reference voltage circuitry for analog-to-digital conversion comprises 20-30 % of the overall power and area of the ADC. To this end, a fully differential 1.5-bit multiplying digital-to-analog converter (MDAC) precluding reference voltages, that can be employed in MDAC-based ADCs, is presented. Reference shifting is performed in current-mode and the gain of two is obtained by associating charged capacitors in series in the opamp's feedback loop, achieving a unity feedback factor. Theoretical analyses of various nonideal effects of the reference shifting and gain of two are presented and confirmed with electrical level simulations. Furthermore, to avoid reference voltages in the local quantizers, an architecture with built-in thresholds is used. A proof of concept 1.5-bit/stage 7-bit 500 MS/s pipeline ADC is designed using the proposed MDAC in a standard digital 0.13 μm CMOS technology. The ADC achieves a peak SNDR and SFDR of 36.1 and 48.7 dB, respectively, while dissipating 12.7 mW from a single 1.2 V supply voltage, and it does not require external reference circuitry. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Mountjoy J.,University College Dublin | Walsh A.J.,Dublin City University | Cardiff B.,S3 Group | O'dowd J.A.,FAZTech Research Ltd | And 4 more authors.
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2013

We examine data transmission during the interval immediately after wavelength switching of a tunable laser and, through simulation, we demonstrate how choice of modulation format can improve the efficacy of an optical burst/packet switched network. © 2013 Optical Society of America.

News Article | February 28, 2017

ROCHELLE PARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ORBCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ:ORBC), a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016. The following financial highlights are in thousands of dollars. “In 2016 we continued to introduce innovative solutions for transportation, logistics and heavy equipment, which we expect will continue to positively impact the business in 2017 and beyond. These include several new products, customers, partners, and geographic territories,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to leverage the strong momentum for IoT as companies across all industries are adopting IoT solutions central to their core strategy. We believe we are in a strong position to execute on these new opportunities.” “In the fourth quarter Service Revenues increased 8.4% to $29.4 million, capping off a strong 2016 that saw Service Revenues increase 13% overall lifted by both acquisitions and organic growth,” said Robert Costantini, ORBCOMM’s Chief Financial Officer. “Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter of $12.5 million at improving margins of 26.6% was driven by high incremental margin Service Revenues.” For more information on recent highlights, please visit For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016, Service Revenues were up 8% over the prior year period to $29.4 million. The increase in Service Revenues in Q4 this year was driven by both organic growth and our most recent acquisitions. Organic growth of 4% benefited from the OG2 satellite constellation as well as our growing subscriber base across multiple lines of business. For the full year 2016, Service Revenues were $112.9 million compared to $100.0 million in 2015, an increase of $12.9 million or 12.9%. Product Sales during the fourth quarter of 2016 were $17.4 million compared to $17.9 million during the same period last year, decreasing ($0.5) million or 2.5%. Product Sales were lower largely due to the timing of deployments and delays in obtaining the required LTE product certifications, which resulted in a shift of about 10,000 units of backlog or $3-4 million to the first quarter of 2017. Product Sales for the full year 2016 were $73.9 million compared to $78.3 million in 2015, a decrease of ($4.5) million or 5.7%. Total Revenues of $46.8 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016 were up $1.8 million or 4.1% compared to $45.0 million during the same period of 2015. Total Revenues for the full year 2016 were $186.7 million compared to $178.3 million in 2015, an increase of 4.7%, led by double digit Service Revenue growth. Total Cost of Revenues and Operating Expenses for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $47.5 million compared to $42.6 million during the same period in 2015. Cost of Revenues, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization, increased $1.0 million or 2.8% year-over-year largely due to higher Cost of products sold. For the quarter, Cost of services, excluding Depreciation and Amortization, increased 2.8% to $9.6 million and as a percentage of Service Revenues decreased to 32.6% or 170 basis points lower than the fourth quarter of 2015 improving Service margins this quarter to 67.4%. Operating Expenses for the full year were higher primarily due to higher Depreciation and Amortization and non-labor related SG&A expenses. For the full year, Selling, general and administrative expense and Product development expenses increased 4.5% to $53.2 million. Total Cost of Revenues and Operating Expenses for the full year 2016 were $201.2 million or 8.5% higher than last year’s $185.5 million. However, Total Cost of Revenues and Operating Expenses, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization, decreased $0.5 million or 0.3% compared to last year, and as a percentage of Total Revenues declined to 84.8% from 89.1% last year. Fiscal 2016 results include an impairment charge of ($10.7) million to write-off the net book value of one of the in-orbit OG2 satellites as of September 30, 2016 that was launched in July 2014 where communication was lost. The loss of this one satellite is not expected to have a material impact on network communications services or our financials going forward. The Company believes the loss of communication is likely specific to this one satellite. Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes, Net Income (Loss), and Earnings Per Share Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes for the fourth quarter of 2016 was a ($2.9) million loss, compared to the $1.2 million profit for the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full year 2016, the Loss Before Income Taxes was ($22.7) million compared to a loss of ($11.8) million in 2015, reflecting higher Depreciation and Amortization of ($16.2) million in 2016, partially offset by a lower satellite impairment charge in 2016 of $2.1 million. Net (Loss) Income attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders was ($3.2) million Net Loss for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to Net Income of $0.2 million for the same period in 2015. Basic EPS was a loss of ($0.05) per share for the fourth quarter of 2016 versus $0.00 per share for the same period last year. Net (Loss) attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders was ($23.5) million for the full year 2016 compared to a loss of ($13.3) million in 2015. Basic EPS was a loss of ($0.33) per share for the full year 2016 versus a loss of ($0.19) per share for 2015. Net Income (Loss) – Ex-Items, attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders and Basic EPS – Ex-Items are non-GAAP financial measures used by the Company. Please see the financial tables at the end of the release for a reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) – Ex-Items, attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders and Basic EPS – Ex-Items. EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $10.5 million compared to $9.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full year 2016, EBITDA was $28.5 million compared to $19.4 million in 2015, an increase of $9.1 million or 46.7%. Adjusted EBITDA of $12.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 4.9% higher than last year’s $11.9 million in the fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of Total Revenues for the quarter was 26.6% or 21 basis points better than last year’s fourth quarter. For the full year 2016, Adjusted EBITDA was $47.3 million compared to $42.3 million for 2015, an increase of $4.9 million or 11.7%. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of Total Revenues for the full year was 25.3% or 157 basis points better than last year. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures used by the Company to measure operating performance and the quality of earnings. Please see the financial tables at the end of the release for a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. At December 31, 2016, Cash and Cash Equivalents totaled $25.0 million, compared to $28.1 million at December 31, 2015 that included $1.0 million in Restricted Cash, decreasing ($3.1) million. The cash decline was partially offset by the $28.9 million of Cash generated by operations for 2016. Cash invested in Capital Expenditures was ($28.4) million, of which ($8.3) million was due to the completion of milestone and insurance payments for the OG2 program related to the final launch in late 2015 and includes ($1.6) million of capitalized interest. In addition, we paid ($3.8) million for the Skygistics acquisition in the second quarter of 2016. ORBCOMM will host a conference call and webcast for the investment community this morning at 8:30 AM ET. Senior management will review the results, discuss ORBCOMM’s business, and address questions. To access the call, domestic participants should dial 1-888-312-3052 at least ten minutes prior to the start of the call. International callers should dial 1-719-325-2298. To hear a live web simulcast or to listen to the archived webcast following completion of the call, please visit the Company’s website at and then select “News & Events” to access the link to the call. To listen to a replay of the conference call, please visit The replay will be available from approximately 1:30 PM ET on February 28, 2017, through 1:30 PM ET on March 14, 2017. ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC) is a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication solutions and the only commercial satellite network dedicated to M2M. ORBCOMM’s unique combination of global satellite, cellular and dual-mode network connectivity, hardware, web reporting applications and software is the M2M industry’s most complete service offering. Our solutions are designed to remotely track, monitor, and control fixed and mobile assets in core vertical markets including transportation & distribution, heavy equipment, industrial fixed assets, oil & gas, maritime, mining and government. With close to two decades of innovation and expertise in M2M, ORBCOMM has more than 1.7 million subscribers with a diverse customer base including premier OEMs such as Caterpillar Inc., Doosan Infracore America, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., John Deere, Komatsu Ltd., and Volvo Construction Equipment, as well as end-to-end solutions customers such as C&S Wholesale, Canadian National Railways, CR England, Hub Group, KLLM Transport Services, Marten Transport, Swift Transportation, Target, Tropicana, Tyson Foods, Walmart, Union Pacific Railroad and Werner Enterprises. For more information, visit Certain statements discussed in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally relate to our plans, estimates, objectives and expectations for future events, as well as projections, business trends and other statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: demand for and market acceptance of our products and services and our ability to successfully implement our business plan; our dependence on our subsidiary companies (Market Channel Affiliates (MCAs)) and third party product and service developers and providers, distributors and resellers (Market Channel Partners (MCPs)) to develop, market and sell our products and services, especially in markets outside the United States; substantial losses we have incurred and may continue to incur; the inability to effect suitable investments, alliances and acquisitions, and even if we are able to make acquisitions, the failure to integrate and effectively operate the acquired businesses and the exposure to additional risks, such as unexpected costs, contingent or other liabilities, or weaknesses in internal controls, and issues related to non-compliance with domestic and foreign laws, particularly in acquisitions of foreign businesses; our dependence on a few significant customers for a substantial portion of our revenues, including key customers such as Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu Ltd., Hub Group, Onixsat and Satlink S.L.; our ability to expand our business outside the United States, including risks related to the economic, political and other conditions in foreign countries in which we do business, including fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; our dependence on a few significant vendors, service providers or suppliers, as well as the loss or disruption or slowdown in the supply of products and services these key vendors, such as our SkyWave business’s dependence on its commercial relationship with Inmarsat plc and the services provided by Inmarsat plc, including the continued availability of Inmarsat plc’s satellites, the supply of subscriber communicators from Sanmina Corporation and Quake Global, or the supply of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) from S3 Group; competition from existing and potential telecommunications competitors, including terrestrial and satellite-based network providers, some of whom provide wireless network services to our customers in connection with our products and services; our reliance on intellectual property rights and the risk that we, our MCAs, our MCPs and our customers may infringe on the intellectual property rights of others; inability to operate due to changes or restrictions in the political, legal, regulatory, government, administrative and economic conditions and developments in the United States and other countries and territories in which we provide our services; legal proceedings; the failure of our system or reductions in levels of service due to technological malfunctions or deficiencies or other events, such as in-orbit satellite failures, reduced performance of our existing satellites, or man-made or natural disasters and other extreme events; rapid and significant technological changes, pricing pressures and other competitive factors; cybersecurity risks; and the terms of our credit agreement, under which we currently have borrowed $150 million and may borrow up to an additional $10 million, that could restrict our business activities or our ability to execute our strategic objectives or adversely affect our financial performance. In addition, specific consideration should be given to various factors described in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” and Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, and elsewhere in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other documents, on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements or cautionary factors, except as required by law. The following table reconciles our Net Income attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the periods shown: ORBCOMM publicly reports its financial information in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“US GAAP”). To facilitate external analysis of the Company’s operating performance, ORBCOMM also presents financial information that are considered “non-GAAP financial measures” under Regulation G and related reporting requirements promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, Net Income or other measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP and may be different than those presented by other companies. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are not performance measures calculated in accordance with GAAP and are therefore considered non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation table is presented above. EBITDA is defined as earnings attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. before interest income (expense), loss on debt extinguishment, provision for income taxes and depreciation and amortization. ORBCOMM believes EBITDA is useful to its management and investors in evaluating operating performance because it is one of the primary measures used to evaluate the economic productivity of the Company’s operations, including its ability to obtain and maintain its customers, its ability to operate its business effectively, the efficiency of its employees and the profitability associated with their performance. It also helps ORBCOMM’s management and investors to meaningfully evaluate and compare the results of the Company’s operations from period to period on a consistent basis by removing the impact of its financing transactions and the depreciation and amortization impact of capital investments from its operating results. In addition, ORBCOMM management uses EBITDA in presentations to its board of directors to enable it to have the same measurement of operating performance used by management and for planning purposes, including the preparation of the annual operating budget. The Company also believes that Adjusted EBITDA, defined as EBITDA adjusted for stock-based compensation expense, noncontrolling interests, impairment loss, non-capitalized satellite launch and in-orbit insurance, insurance recovery, and acquisition-related and integration costs, is useful to investors to evaluate the Company’s core operating results and financial performance because it excludes items that are significant non-cash or non-recurring expenses reflected in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. Adjusted EBITDA Margin equals Adjusted EBITDA divided by Total Revenues. The following table reconciles our Net Income (Loss) attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders to Net Income (Loss) – Ex-Items, attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders and Basic EPS to Basic EPS – Ex-Items for the periods shown: Net Income (Loss) – Ex-Items attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders is defined as Net Income (Loss) attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders, excluding Impairment Loss-satellite network, and Acquisition-related and integration costs. Basic EPS – Ex-Items is defined as Basic EPS excluding Impairment Loss-satellite network, and Acquisition-related and integration costs. Net Income (Loss) – Ex-Items attributable to ORBCOMM Inc. Common Stockholders and Basic EPS – Ex-Items are non-GAAP financial measures used by the Company. These non-GAAP financial measures are used as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. These non-GAAP measures are presented in this press release as management believes that they will provide investors with a means of evaluating, and an understanding of how management evaluates, the Company’s performance and results on a comparable basis that is not otherwise apparent on a GAAP basis, since many non-recurring, infrequent or non-cash items that management believes are not indicative of the core performance of the business may not be excluded when preparing financial measures under GAAP. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation from, as substitutes for, or superior to financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, or may be different from similarly titled measures reported by other companies. A reconciliation table is presented above.

Custodio J.R.,Oticon A S | Goes J.,New University of Lisbon | Goes J.,S3 Group | Paulino N.,New University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems | Year: 2013

This paper describes the design and experimental evaluation of a multibit Sigma-Delta (Σ Δ) modulator (Σ Δ M) with enhanced dynamic range (DR) through the use of nonlinear digital-to-analog converters (DACs) in the feedback paths. This nonlinearity imposes a trade-off between DR and distortion, which is well suited to the intended hearing aid application. The modulator proposed here uses a fully-differential self-biased amplifier and a 4-bit quantizer based on fully dynamic comparators employing MOS parametric pre-amplification to improve both energy and area efficiencies. A test chip was fabricated in a 130 nm digital CMOS technology, which includes the proposed modulator with nonlinear DACs and a modulator with conventional linear DACs, for comparison purposes. The measured results show that the Σ Δ M using nonlinear DACs achieves an enhancement of the DR around 8.4 dB (to 91.4 dB). Power dissipation and silicon area are about the same for the two cases. The performance achieved is comparable to that of the best reported multibit Σ Δ ADCs, with the advantage of occupying less silicon area (7.5 times lower area when compared with the most energy efficient Σ Δ M). © 2007-2012 IEEE.

PubMed | Pyxima, Slovene Federation of Pensioners Associations, Tunstall Healthcare Group, Institute Salud Carlos III ISCIII and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Studies in health technology and informatics | Year: 2015

In the context of the long-term care for older adults, informal carers play a key role. Daily competing priorities or a care-skills deficit may lead them to stress, anxiety and/or depression. The iCarer project (AAL-2012-5-239) proposes the design and implementation of a cloud-inspired personalised and adaptive platform which will offer support to informal carers of older adults with cognitive impairment. By means of a holistic approach comprising technologies and services addressing the intelligent and interactive monitoring of activities, knowledge management for personalised guidance and orientation, virtual interaction, e-learning, care coordination facilities and social network services, iCarer aims to reduce the informal carer stress and to enhance the quality of care they provide, thus improving their quality of life. The iCarer platform will be evaluated through a multi-centre non-controlled study (4 months; 48 homes located in England and in Slovenia). Currently the iCarer project is completing the development work. The evaluation trial is expected to start in August 2015.

O'Sullivan C.,S3 Group | Nerad J.,S3 Group | Buryanec J.,S3 Group | Ryan D.,S3 Group | And 2 more authors.
IET Conference Publications | Year: 2010

This paper outlines a calibration scheme to reduce LO feed-through using two offset compensation DACs applied to a Gilbert cell mixer and a low frequency measurement using an ADC. This architecture does not require RF feed-back, as is the case in prior art. The calibration scheme has been implemented on a 0.18um CMOS RF Transceiver IC, which uses a low IF and a single side-band mixer on TX.

Ibrahim S.,National University of Ireland | Szczepkowski G.,S3 Group | Farrell R.,National University of Ireland
2014 21st IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits and Systems, ICECS 2014 | Year: 2014

This paper presents a study on different microwave structures used to integrate MEMS devices in printed circuit boards, and their effect on the linear phase response for switched delay lines applications. Three different prototypes were designed to realize the RF tracks required to integrate 0.5 mm pitch MEMS devices together with the meander delay lines. The structures includes: microstrip lines, conventional coplanar waveguides (CPW) and finite grounded coplanar waveguides (FGCPW). The three prototypes were designed to deliver a group delay of 600 ps. Simulations were carried out using CST Microwave Studio. The FGCPW proved to have the highest phase linearity with only ± 4 ps (±0.67%) delay deviations up to 2.7 GHz. The paper also presents the design of two wideband MEMS switched time delay line circuits; one used to provide a fine tuning for the group delay with a step of only 10 ps and another for coarse tuning with 50 ps delay step. Finite grounded coplanar waveguides were selected to obtain a high linearity of phase response. The simulation of the two circuits resulted in a constant delay with relatively small deviations, as well as low insertion and return losses of 0.75 dB and 20 dB, respectively for frequencies up to 5 GHz. © 2014 IEEE.

Figueiredo M.,New University of Lisbon | Goes J.,New University of Lisbon | Goes J.,S3 Group | Oliveira L.B.,New University of Lisbon | Steiger-Garcao A.,New University of Lisbon
International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications | Year: 2012

A new fully differential self-biased 1.5-bit flash quantizer with built-in threshold voltages, suitable for high speed ADCs and low voltage operation, is described. The proposed circuit is very simple, and simulation results in a 65 nm standard CMOS technology demonstrate that, following the suggested design methodology, it is able to achieve low offset, low kickback noise, low metastability probability errors and fast regeneration time with very low power dissipation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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