Electronics and microelectronics

Organization chart of the service
Fig. 1 Left and middle - validation of a quarter of the QUBIC detection chain in a dilution cryostat; top and bottom right - interconnections and testing of TES arrays and SQUID modules respectively. ©  APC

Organization chart of the service

Introduction to the service

The Electronics and Microelectronics department of the APC comprises thirteen people including five research engineers, five design engineers, two assistant engineers and one technician. The service is the result of the merger of the Electronics department and the Microelectronics department in 2019, it is involved in the laboratory's physics projects, both in space, on land and under water.

The department has all the CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools for the design of specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and printed circuits (PCBs). It has electronic and microelectronic simulation tools. The members of the service carry out around thirty studies per year, ranging from double-sided PCB to 12-layer PCB with microvias, from class 4 to non-class 88 μm. As manufacturing is subcontracted in the industry, a manufacturing follow-up file, a request for an estimate and the generation of files necessary for the subcontractor are given to the designers.

A small wiring workshop allows the production of prototypes which can be wired either manually or with a reflow oven. This workshop also allows the replacement of defective components for all APC projects.

In addition to an electronic measurement laboratory, the Electronics and Microelectronics department manages a low noise room. This Low-Noise Room is an infrastructure dedicated to low noise tests and characterization, and in particular at low frequencies (up to milli-Hertz). Indeed, the noise characterization of very low frequency reading and detection chains requires specific equipment. An important parameter to take into account for very low frequency measurements is temperature stability. The Bas-Bruit Room is a 37.5 m² room in the basement of the Condorcet Building, equipped with several temperature regulation systems, it allows fine control of the temperature of the equipment. It is also made up of a Faraday cage, a thermal chamber and numerous measurement equipment (Analyzers, Oscilloscopes, Generators, Amplifiers, Power supplies). This platform is part of the space hub of the University of Paris and is open to both university laboratories and external laboratories and companies.

Several engineers in the department have both national and international project manager responsibilities which call on the principles of project management and quality control. These methodologies are put in place from the start of projects.

Electronics engineers. of the department design, build, test and monitor systems intended to operate on experimental sites in often very severe environments (ionizing radiation, extreme temperatures and pressure, vibrations, etc.). For these reasons, the various achievements follow strict quality criteria imposed by the collaborations in order to ensure correct functioning of the equipment. These systems call on different electronic skills: fast analog, low noise and high dynamic range, and digital. In addition, they use various technologies: discrete components, bipolar or CMOS integrated circuits, analog, digital or mixed, programmable or specific. Programmable digital circuits (FPGA) are commonly used in various developments; they are generally programmed in suitable languages ​​such as VHDL or even VERILOG.

The service also has expertise in microelectronics in the field of the design of analog and mixed ASIC integrated circuits, produced in standard CMOS and BiCMOS SiGe technologies, for the implementation of instruments dedicated to observational cosmology and experiments in 'astroparticles. The microelectronics activity revolves around three permanent research engineers (IR) and a permanent study engineer (IE) with the support of the laboratory's IT department for the installation and maintenance of the necessary CAD resources. . The Circuits are drawn in full-custom using standard CADENCE Virtuoso CAD tools. Most of the developments have been carried out in AMS CMOS and BiCMOS SiGe 0.35µm technologies as well as in STMicroelectronics BiCMOS SiGe 130nm technology. For more than ten years, the APC laboratory has developed real specific expertise in the design of low-noise ASICs (below nV / ÖHz), operating in a cryogenic environment (4K) for the integration of superconducting sensors. (TES, SQUID, KIDS) or hardened to radiative environments for space applications.

This know-how is illustrated in particular through the technical involvement of the laboratory in flagship projects such as the QUBIC ground telescope (cryogenic reading chain) dedicated to the observation in the field of millimeter waves of the polarization of the seabed. cosmological diffuse (CMB) or the X-IFU (warm front-end electronic) instrument on board the ATHENA space mission satellite for the observation of high energy phenomena in the X domain.


The Electronics and Microelectonics department has a great deal of expertise, some of which are very specific, required to support the production of complex electronic systems. In particular, on the design of analog ASICs operating at cryogenic temperatures, low noise ASICs and the space environment. It is also involved in the development of very low noise digital and analog electronic systems. The service also has expertise in System Engineer functions, mainly in complex detection chains.

Our main projects are: