CINDE Announces: Costa Rica Creates First Microcontroller for Medical Applications Microcircuit Completely Designed and Developed in the Country


2019-05-09 14:48:00 BioSpace


  The DCILab of the Electronic Engineering School at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC by its Spanish acronym), has created the first RISC, 32-bit microcontroller completely designed and developed in Costa Rica, for a microcircuit with medical applications. A microcontroller is a microprocessor which, in addition to its processing units, has input-output interfaces and dedicated units for operation and sensing, as well as internal memory to perform specific functions. The microcontroller's official name is SIWA, which means "ancestral wisdom" in Cabécar, one of Costa Rica's indigenous ethnic languages. It is based on a RISC-V, 32-bit architecture, similar to those used in smart phones (such as the ARM processor) and this nucleus can be complemented with different interfaces for different applications. The DCILab of TEC Costa Rica began using the device for medical applications, such as a cardiac stimulator; but it has announced that it may create new versions of SIWA with applications in other fields such as industrial automation, variable monitoring, image processing, among others. The design is based on an open RISC programming architecture and will be used as a control unit for a cardiac stimulator developed by the Catholic University of Uruguay. Alfonso Chacón, of the Electronic Engineering School at TEC, said that: "This milestone not only proves the existence in Costa Rica of the necessary technological capacity to initiate joint developments in the microcircuits area with the country's high-tech industry, but also lays the foundation for a national microelectronics industry."  SIWA is an integrated electronic device in a 180-nanometer CMOS technology. Potential in medical industry Today's cutting-edge implantable medical devices demand more intelligence to apply algorithms that monitor biomedical signals, and even to allow doctors to obtain patient data.  The more integrated the system is, the greater the reliability and safety of devices implanted in patients, in addition to improving the device's parameters for size and electrical power consumption. This is very different to what is currently done in most systems on the market, since they apply separate devices interconnected among themselves. Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, said that: "Costa Rica is a hub of medical technologies in Latin America, hosting global leaders in Life Sciences and Digital Technologies. This convergence enables the country to create and test new solutions, enhancing the development and performance of medical devices, which are already the country's top export product, for US$3.3 billion in 2018. It is projected that these will grow at an annual rate of 15%, reaching US$5 billion in 2021." Costa Rica's life sciences industry consists of 72 multinational companies that employ 24,600 people. 7 out of 10 world's largest cardiovascular companies operate in Costa Rica.
哥斯达黎加技术研究所电子工程学院( TEC )的 DCILab 以西班牙首字母缩写的名字,创造了第一个 RISC ,32位微控制器,完全设计和发展在哥斯达黎加,为一个微电路与医疗应用。 微控制器是一种微处理器,除其处理单元外,还具有输入输出接口和专用操作和传感单元,以及执行特定功能的内部存储器。 微控制器的正式名称是 SIWA ,这意味着“祖先智慧”在卡布里卡,哥斯达黎加的土著民族语言之一。它基于 RISC-V ,32位架构,类似于智能手机(如 ARM 处理器)中使用的架构,该核心可以与不同应用程序的不同接口进行补充。 哥斯达黎加 TEC 公司的 DCILab 公司开始使用心脏刺激器等医疗应用设备,但该公司宣布,它可能在工业自动化、可变监测、图像处理等领域应用新的 SIWA 版本。 该设计基于一个开放的 RISC 编程架构,将作为一个控制单位的心脏刺激器开发的天主教大学乌拉圭。 TEC 电子工程学院的 Alfonso Chac ó n 说:“这一里程碑不仅证明哥斯达黎加存在启动与该国高科技工业在微电路领域联合开发的必要技术能力,而且为国家微电子工业奠定了基础。”这是一个很好的例子 SIWA 是一种采用180纳米 CMOS 技术的集成电子器件。 医疗行业的潜力 当今尖端的植入式医疗设备需要更多的智能来应用监测生物医学信号的算法,甚至允许医生获得病人数据。 该系统集成程度越高,植入患者的设备可靠性和安全性越高,同时提高了设备的尺寸参数和用电量。这与目前市场上大多数系统所做的非常不同,因为它们应用相互连接的独立设备。 CINDE 董事总经理 Jorge Sequeira 说:“哥斯达黎加是拉丁美洲医疗技术中心,是生命科学和数字技术领域的全球领导者。这种融合使国家能够创造和测试新的解决方案,提高医疗器械的开发和性能,医疗器械已经是国家最大的出口产品,2018年为33亿美元。预计这些数字将以每年15%的速度增长,到2021年达到50亿美元。” 哥斯达黎加的生命科学产业由72家跨国公司组成,雇用24600人。全球十大心血管公司中有七家在哥斯达黎加经营。