WaferCatalyst Graduation Project List 2013/14

Project List for 2013/14

The project list for WaferCatalyst Project Program  for 2013-14 is as follows.


Project Titles


1. Sensor interface chip

Sensors of many types are getting common in our daily lives. Today’s consumer electronics like air conditioner, smart phones, video game controllers and laptops have a number of sensors. Moreover sensors like temperature, pressure and humidity sensors have important applications in industrial control environments.

The students are required to design an interface IC that interfaces a common sensor (pressure, temperature etc.) to a microcontroller for further signal processing. The students will need to explore measurement and low speed digital conversion of signal for a commercially available sensor of their choice (based on its specifications).

Recommended group: 2-4 students


2. USB 2.0 Frontend (Transmitter and Receiver)

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most widely used standards in the consumer electronic world today. USB standard has been evolving for higher speeds in recent times with 1.1 giving way to 2.0 and now the latest 3.0. The USB 2.0 has highest transfer rate of 480Mbps which is enough for most applications and still commands a large percentage of the market space for USB.

In this project the students are required to design the transmitter and receiver for the USB 2.0 capable of physical transfer of data based on the USB 2.0 standard.

Recommended group: 2-4 students




3. Tunable Active low pass filter

Low pass filters are widely used to remove undesirable high frequency components from a lower frequency signal. In some applications tuning is a desirable characteristic to allow the filter to be able to filter signals that are orders of magnitude different in frequency range.

In this project the students are required to investigate the various methods of designing tunable low pass filters and implement a low pass filter that can be tunable up to 2 orders of magnitude in the frequency range.

Recommended group: 1-2 students


Low Drop Out regulator Design

A low-dropout or LDO regulator is a DC linear voltage regulator that is used in many analog applications where a low voltage drop is allowed between the available voltage and the desired voltage. Typical linear regulators may drop a large voltage between the input and the output (up to 2V) whereas LDO may drop a small voltage (as low as 100mV) between input and output. This has many applications since the available voltage is getting lower (e.g. 1.5V batteries) and thus only a stable voltage is needed without much difference from the input voltage.

In this project the students are required to design an LDO for cell phone applications. Students would need to investigate the battery voltage and typical specifications for LDO used in the design of cell phones.

Recommended group: 2-3 students


Project Terms and Guidelines

Design Support

  • Students undertaking any of the projects should register themselves on WaferCatalyst portal (http://portal-wafercat.com) and send request to be added to the respective project page on this portal. The request is to be sent to shahmed@kacst.edu.sa.
  • This project page would provide them with relevant resources and provide avenues to discuss with peers and experts on project related queries.


  • The following project reports are to be sent to WaferCatalyst during the project;
    • Mid-project report
    • Final project report
    • Students would be responsible for maintaining highest level of academic integrity in their work in the items submitted to WaferCatalyst. Any violation of best practices can result in the student barred from access to design resources and using WaferCatalyst name in their final report. Moreover WaferCatalyst reserves its right to not include such work in any award considerations.
    • The content of the reports submitted to WaferCatalyst would be licensed to KACST without any limitation of usage rights.


  • All students may be eligible to receive general resources to install/setup the design tools needed for the project.
  • It is highly recommended that universities or institutions sign the ‘WaferCatalyst Client Agreement’ to be eligible to receive free Process Development Kits (PDK) from WaferCatalyst recommended partner manufacturers.
  • Universities/institutions that have signed WaferCatalyst Client Agreement may be eligible for free support for the PDK setup.

Fabrication Awards

  • Only designs performed with the recommended process development kits from WaferCatalyst partner foundries would be considered for “WaferCatalyst Graduation Project Award” which may be a free fabrication area to award winners.