The electronics of a general biomedical device consist of energy delivery, analog-to-digital conversion, signal processing, and communication subsystems. Each of these blocks must be designed for minimum energy consumption. Specific design techniques, such as aggressive voltage scaling, dynamic power-performance management, and energy-efficient signaling, must be employed to adhere to the stringent energy constraint. The constraint itself is set by the energy source, so energy harvesting holds tremendous promise toward enabling sophisticated systems without straining user lifestyle. Further, once harvested, efficient delivery of the low-energy levels, as well as robust operation in the aggressive low-power modes, requires careful understanding and treatment of the specific design limitations that dominate this realm. We outline the performance and power constraints of biomedical devices, and present circuit techniques to achieve complete systems operating down to power levels of microwatts. In all cases, approaches that leverage advanced technology trends are emphasized.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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