Imec news

Ultralow power high quality EEG system for ambulatory monitoring




14/6/2012

Leuven (Belgium), Honolulu (Hawaii, USA) – June 14, 2012 – Today at the VLSI circuits symposium (June 12-15, Honolulu, USA), imec present a complete 700µW 8-channel active-electrode (AE)-based EEG monitoring system. The system, developed in collaboration with Panasonic, delivers high quality EEG signals and facilitates ambulatory use and patient comfort.

The complete low-power 8-channel EEG system consists of a set of AEs and a back-end (BE) analog signal processor. It is capable of continuously and simultaneously recording 8 channel EEG signals while continuously monitoring electrode-tissue contact impedance (ETI) of the biopotential electrodes. This simultaneous recording enables remote assessment of electrode status during EEG recording. The EEG channels of the system consume less than 87µW (including ETI). The AEs have a gain that relaxes the noise specifications of the BE and a high input impedance (1.2GΩ at 10Hz) that enables recording from dry electrode. A complete EEG channel, consisting of two AEs and the BE, has high common-mode CMRR (>84dB), and a low noise (0.65µVrms, 0.5-100Hz). These characteristics are essential to extract high quality EEG-signals: µV-range low-frequency signals under a large amount of common-mode (CM) interference.

Imec’s EEG acquisition system does not require the use of commercial active components (e.g., bulky instrumentation amplifiers, ADCs etc) in the signal path and delivers a complete solution for digital interfacing. The system is suitable for ambulatory EEG monitoring. Compared to current EEG monitoring systems, ambulatory monitoring increases the patient’s autonomy and comfort. The system is also applicable for sports devices, entertainment, comfort monitoring, and other health and lifestyle products and services.

The industry can access this technology by joining imec’s Human++ program as research partner or by licensing agreements for further product development. Within the Human++ program, imec and Holst Centre develop solutions for an efficient and better healthcare. Intelligent body area networks with wireless sensors, such as this EEG system, allow ambulatory monitoring of people, which increases the comfort level of patients and is a cost- and time-efficient alternative for current EEG monitoring systems, as well as home monitoring results in daily life measurements that cannot be taken in a clinical environment.


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Bare dies of the backend and active electrodes of imec’s EEG asic
Photo: Bare dies of the backend and active electrodes of imec’s EEG asic

About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of close to 2,000 people includes more than 600 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2011, imec's revenue (P&L) was about 300 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

Contact:
Hanne Degans, External Communications Officer, T: +32 16 28 17 69, Mobile: +32 486 065 175, Hanne.Degans@imec.be



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