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IRT Saint Exupéry PhD student wins best paper award at global conference on embedded electronics

Chaimae Ghfiri (IRT Saint Exupéry / LAAS-CNRS) receives her prize Prof Marcello d’Amore (Rome University, Italy) in the presence of Wenyan Yin (Zhejiang University, China) during APEMC 2016. Photo IRT Saint Exupéry.

Chaimae Ghfiri who is PhD student in the second year, was awarded the prize for best paper at the 2016 7th Asia-Pacific International Electromagnetic Compatibility and Signal Integrity Symposium (APEMC) which took place in Shenzhen, China between 18 and 21 May. This exceptional performance recognises the talent of a young researcher. It also highlights a highly successful academic-multi-sector industrial co-supervision put in place thanks to the Institutes of Technology model introduced in 2011. Academic (the University of Toulouse, Insa Toulouse, LAAS[1]-CNRS) and industrial partners (Continental, Airbus) all contributed the work being presented in the winning paper. The paper discusses creating and using numerical simulation models to meet the robustness needs of electronics being developed by equipment manufacturers for the automotive and aerospace industries.

To keep costs low, these manufacturers use off-the-shelf components as part of their technological innovations that are easy to integrate but not designed to meet the highly demanding standards these industries require. The rapid obsolescence of these components means they are obliged to frequently requalify their equipment. The winning article looks at developing a new kind of validation using numerical simulation to reduce the cost of requalification on equipment or actual vehicles under laboratory conditions. This method would take into account the effects of ageing on the behaviour of the equipment’s electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – i.e. its ability to perform correctly in an electromagnetic environment without compromising other pieces of equipment.

The article details the construction of an emission model managed by a programmable component FPGA[2], which is widely used for aerospace applications. The difficulty in modelling this kind of component, which includes hundreds of entry/exit points and thousands of configurable logical gates, is its high dependence on implemented function. The innovative approach proposed is not based on the function but instead on the number, time and frequency characteristics of the resources being used (entries/exits and block of logic gates). This approach exceeds the standard model (IEC 62433-2) and opens new perspectives on the behavioural models, which can be configured by adapting to their environment.

The APEMC conference is one of the four most important in the world on electromagnetic compatibility. In 2016 it brought together almost 500 participants in Shenzhen, which is China’s technological showcase. The article written by Chaimae Ghfiri and her four co-authors was chosen from 400 submissions. The conference is also endorsed by the IEEE[3], which with 400,000 members in over 160 countries is the world’s largest technical association and by the IEEE’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Society, the largest organisation dedicated to the spread of this science, with over 4,000 members.

Since the end of the 1990s, with the creation of IERSET[4], Toulouse has been a leader in this area of applied research into embedded systems. This common laboratory shared by big companies (Siemens, Alcatel, Aerospatiale) and public research (Insa Toulouse, LAAS-CNRS), is famous for having created a French standardisation committee  (UTE then AFNOR SC47A) on EMC measures for components.

[1] Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems
[2] Field Programmable Gate Array
[3] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
[4] European institute of Research on the Electronic Systems for Transport

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Publication: Construction of an Integrated Circuit Emission Model of a FPGA.” by Chaimae Ghfiri, Alexandre Boyer (LAAS-CNRS / Insa Toulouse-Toulouse University), André Durier (IRT Saint Exupéry/Continental), Sonia Ben Dhia (LAAS-CNRS / Insa Toulouse) and Christian Marot (Airbus Group).

In 2016 Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (APEMC) Volume 01, 17-21 May 2016, pages 402 – 405.

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From left: Ariel Sirat (IRT Saint Exupéry), André Durier (IRT Saint Exupéry / Continental), Christian Marot (Airbus Group), Chaimae Ghfiri (IRT Saint Exupéry / LAAS-CNRS), Alexandre Boyer (LAAS-CNRS / Insa Toulouse-Toulouse University), Sonia Ben Dhia (LAAS-CNRS / Insa Toulouse-Toulouse University) and Gilbert Casamatta (IRT Saint Exupéry). Photo IRT Saint Exupéry.

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