December 2016

Satellite operators hungry for 5G communications

Satellite operators are actively seeking to determine which type of waves they should focus on to secure a slice of the future 5G market. Research conducted by France’s national space agency CNES at Leti set out to answer this question. The study is assessing four potential types of waves: OFDM, EW-OFDM, PS-OFDM, and FBMC.
The type of wave selected must enable interference-free sharing between land and satellite frequency bands dedicated to 5G communications. The research will look at emissions in adjacent frequency bands, spectral efficiency, and the peak to average power ratio.
The research, to be completed next March, is focusing on a high-stakes topic: 5G communications. A 5G standard is under development. 5G will offer very high speeds and will be the top pick for the Internet of Things, connected vehicles, and other emerging applications.

MEMS RF switches made in Grenoble ready for space

MEMS radio-frequency micro-switches developed by Leti could be chosen by the European Space Agency for tomorrow’s space applications. While it is still too early to tell, Leti is doing everything it can to increase its chances of success! First, Leti researchers have integrated the switches into a collective thin-layer packaging—a key advantage over individually packaged competing solutions. The switches are smaller and cheaper to manufacture, and offer state-of-the art electrical performance.
The thin-layer packaging, which protects the switch from contamination and ensures reliability, does not alter component performance compared to an unpackaged switch tested under a controlled atmosphere. ESA, which is currently testing European MEMS RF switch technologies, ordered 150 packaged units.

Micro-nano observatory reports now online

The Micro and Nanotechnology Observatory (OMNT) now publishes its reports and comments from the observatory’s network of experts online. The content available includes regular news updates, one-page executive summaries of current issues, and in-depth reports. All publications are available by email or can be downloaded online. An annual overview is also available as a download.
Access is free of charge for all CNRS and CEA employees and employees of research units affiliated with these organizations. Corporate customers can subscribe. The OMNT now also offers a monthly newsletter. Subscribers can choose which topics to follow by selecting their newsletter preferences.


October 2016

Driverless vehicles: it’s all about the algorithms

The main obstacle to developing tomorrow’s 100% driverless vehicles is the huge processing power required. Today, you would have to virtually fill the vehicles with powerful computers to run them! For the past three years, researchers at Leti have been working on a breakthrough technology to replace today’s algorithms, originally developed for robotics applications, with new algorithms developed specifically for driverless vehicles.
The new algorithms can fuse and interpret data from three different sensor technologies in under 50 milliseconds, using a new, more parsimonious mathematics that slashes processing requirements a hundred fold. The algorithms are protected by two patents and garnered lots of interest when they were presented at DAC 2016 in Texas in June. They will also be presented at the European Forum in Brussels on October 15, and at the Vision trade show in Stuttgart in November.

BigClouT is inventing smart cities

The Greater Grenoble Area is working with three other urban areas—Tsukuba, Fujisawa, and Bristol—on the BigClouT project, a joint initiative between the EU and Japan that Leti is coordinating. The project aims to develop and test applications for smart cities on an open software platform capable of processing massive amounts of data from sensors (weather, pollution, traffic). The deadline is 2019.
Leti is contributing by improving its sensiNact middleware, which aggregates smart data and makes it available to the community to create applications for tomorrow’s cities. In Grenoble, for example, the goal is to measure the impact on the local economy of trade shows like Semicon Europa and of business and industrial parks. The results will be used to improve local services, from restaurants and shops to transportation.


June 2016

CEA to organize two-day sustainable mobility event

The sixth CEA Sustainable Mobility Days, to be held on September 23–24 at MINATEC, will coincide this year with the 60th anniversary of CEA Grenoble. Friday’s program will be targeting companies and government agencies, with the 2nd national conference on mobility planning (French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal is invited) and talks on various innovative-mobility topics. The day will end with an award ceremony and 60th anniversary cocktail reception.
On Saturday, the 60th anniversary open house will offer up a full program for the general public and CEA employees’ family members. And there will be something for everyone! Mobility Village will host electric vehicle test drives, a bicycle repair shop, a wheelchair circuit, a roll-over car simulator, and other activities.

GIANT to host High Level Forum 2016

For the third time in five years the High Level Forum, initiated by GIANT in 2012, will be held in Grenoble. International innovation decision-makers from research, education, industry, and government will come together to foster stronger cooperation. Around 100 attendees from 25 innovation campuses in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Middle East are expected.
The event will kick off with social activities on Sunday. The forum will be held on September 26–27 on the theme of collaborative creativity. Real-world case studies will serve as the starting point for discussions of the challenges of collaborative innovation projects, both in terms of speed and added value.
This year, more than 200 students, researchers, and industrial R&D professionals from the Grenoble area will be invited to attend. Journalists will also be invited and a report published


April 2016

A microdisplay 1,000 times brighter for augmented reality

The microdisplay Leti presented earlier this year at CES Las Vegas was remarkable in two ways. First, its luminance, which is 1,000 times greater than that of current microdisplays, meaning the display remains visible even in bright sunlight. Second, the microdisplay’s 10-micron pixel pitch, which makes it possible to play high-resolution video. The prototype will be used to develop augmented reality glasses that let the wearer see the real environment and superimposed visual information at the same time. The exceptional brightness was achieved by using gallium nitride LEDs, known for their excellent yields. A new hybridization technique, called “microtubes,” was used to power each pixel individually. The research was conducted in conjunction with the III-V Lab and resulted in twelve patents.

Patient recruitment has begun for BCI study to help tetraplegics

The Grenoble-Alpes University Medical Center and regulatory authorities have granted Dr. Alim-Louis Benabid approval to begin the clinical research protocol “Brain-Computer Interface and Tetraplegia” at Clinatec. The research aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a patient suffering from tetraplegia due to spinal cord injury to control an exoskeleton’s movements over several degrees via an implant that measures cerebral cortex activity. The study will focus on five patients, and recruitment is underway. Leti, a stakeholder in this research, has designed a permanent electrocorticography implant called Wimagine®, unlike any other in the world. When placed on the surface of the cerebral cortex, it can transmit the brain’s signals reliably for years.


February 2016

Very-high-speed RFID for electronic passports

Researchers at Leti have developed a reader and ASIC for RFID data reception at speeds up to 27.12 Mb/s required by the ISO 14443-amd5 standard. The new technology could be used for electronic passports, which will store more and more information, from biometric data to secure protocols. Tomorrow’s fourth-generation electronic passports could even be used to store visas right on the passports’ chips.
The main obstacles the researchers had to overcome were caused by the receiver’s linearity at the required transmission speeds: state-of-the-art signal processing techniques were used to ensure the quality of communications. The research was published in an international journal and two patents are currently pending.


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