Tekmos Talks

A Newsletter for the Semiconductor Industry
August 2017 

 Tekmos 20th Anniversary

Welcome to Tekmos Talks August 2017. In this issue of Tekmos Talks, we are going to talk about Complying with new NIST Standards,Medical Device Interoperability, a pictorial story of a recent visit to Queen's College in Cambridge, and feature a mixed signal high temperature product.

Be sure to check out Tekmos technical services: Design and Verification, Test and Characterization, and Burn-in and Reliability.

From the Desk of the President, Lynn Reed
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        Lynn Reed, President

Complying With New NIST Standards

The National Institute for Standards and Technology recently released a set of standards for cyber security. Defense contractors are required to implement these standards by the end of 2017, and that applies to Tekmos. We started off already being compliant with about half of the standards. Achieving compliance with the other half of the standards is more of a challenge.

One major area we are working on is formal documentation. The NIST standards require formal procedures for all aspects of cybersecurity. We already have informal procedures, but converting all of them to formal procedures is a major undertaking. The one advantage to creating all of this documentation is that it fits in with our AS9100 documentation we are creating for our certification audit later on this year.

The second area of work is the addition of card readers to each PC to only allow authorized users on each work station. At first, this seems straightforward, but becomes more complicated when our testers are taken into account. The testers are tightly coupled to engineering, and so are part of our network. But they also run independently, and we have one operator taking care of multiple tester / handler configurations. It is not clear how we will address this.

Another interesting area is the requirement of a whitelist for approved programs. Engineering will frequently try out new programs as part of their jobs. And so the procedures need to be written to allow this, while still providing security.

There is still a lot to do, but we are optimistic that we will be compliant by the deadline. And give the increased cyber threats these days, it is good to be improving our defenses.

Contact us today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Inside Tekmos

HiTEN 2017

Tekmos returned to the United Kingdom as a sponsor for the International Conference and Exhibition on High Temperature Electronics Network (HiTEN 2017 ) Queen's College, Cambridge July 10-12.

The event had a lower attendance in previous years, yet future opportunities were made networking, and evening walks to learn more about Cambridge.

We stayed in the dorm rooms to get more of a feel of Queens' College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England and one of the oldest and largest colleges of the university, founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou (the queen of Henry VI, who founded King's College).


Product Feature

High Temperature Mixed Signals

High temperature electronics operate in one of the most demanding electronic environments. Junction leakage doubles with every 10ºC increase in temperature. For bulk silicon devices, the leakage becomes significant above 175ºC, and intolerable above 225ºC. And while digital logic can withstand some leakage, most analog circuits cannot.

Leakage is a problem that cannot be overcome with clever design tricks. It requires a different process. And that process is SOI (Silicon On Insulator).

In this process, oxygen is implanted beneath the devices. And the field oxide extends down to the implanted oxide layer, providing external isolation. Then, the diffusions are deep enough so that they too touch the buried oxide. This eliminates the bottom and sidewall junctions. And without a junction, there can be no junction leakage.

There is a small junction between the source / drain diffusions and the transistor channel. So while the junctions have not been totally eliminated, they have been reduced in area by a factor of 1,000. And that gives the SOI process an additional 100ºC of operation.

As with all engineering choices, there are tradeoffs. On the positive side, stray capacitance has been eliminated, along with the voltage dependency of diffused resistors. And with most wells tied to the transistor sources, the body effect has been eliminated.

On the negative side, layout density is decreased, and overall layout is more difficult. There are no vertical bipolar devices, just lateral ones. We do not have an EEPROM cell, so trimming becomes more complicated. And the 1u technology limits the circuit size.



To start with, anything that can be done in bulk silicon can also be done in the SOI process.

In the down-hole environment, there is demand for instrumentation amps, ADCs, DACs, and the occasional op-amp. All of these are easily made, and because of the lack of junctions, will have better performance than achieved with bulk devices.

Many down-hole measurements are made on low frequency signals, allowing Sigma-Delta ADCs to be used with up to 24-bit accuracy.

And since the SOI devices are totally isolated from the substrate, the analog supplies can be +/- 2.5v volts, and still work with a digital section operating from a 5 volt supply.

For more information on High Temperature Mixed Signals...

Medical Device Interoperability & FDA Standards

Medical Device Interoperability & FDA Standards


As the advancement of medical care and medical electronic devices continues to evolve, the FDA has created a set of standards to manage medical device interoperability. Medical device interoperability is: the ability to safely, securely, and effectively exchange and use information among one or more devices, products, technologies, or systems. This exchanged information can be used in a variety of ways including display, store, interpret, analyze, and automatically act on or control another product.

Beginning in 2010 the FDA has brought together various stakeholders to promote collaboration, identify challenges and promote standardization for medical device interoperability. The FDA released a draft guidance, Design Considerations and Pre-market Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices. "The focus of this draft guidance is to help manufacturers design and develop safe, effective, and interoperable medical devices by outlining important design considerations and providing clarity on the agency's recommendations for submitting interoperability-related information in premarket submissions and labeling."(FDA)

In 2013, the FDA officially recognized an initial set of standards manufacturers could use to improve patient care by making sure devices work well together. The FDA continues to recognize consensus standards, such as ASTM F2761-09 (2013): Medical Devices And Medical Systems - Essential Safety Requirements For Equipment Comprising The Patient-Centric Integrated Clinical Environment, that are relevant to the development and design of interoperable medical devices and encourages their use.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to discuss Medical Device Interoperability & FDA Standards.

Thank You for Reading Tekmos Talks

Thank you for reading Tekmos Talks and helping us celebrate 20 years. Call (512) 342-9871 or email Sales for more information.

Tekmos, 20 years of solutions.


Lynn Reed, President

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7901 E. Riverside Dr. Building 2, Suite 150
Austin, TX 78744
Phone: (512) 342-9871
Fax: (512) 342-9873
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Source: Tekmos, Inc.