April 2018 edition – Vol.10 no.4


We are continuing with the preparation of our annual symposium, the preliminary program can be found on the ReSMiQ web portal (Annual Symposium 2018). In addition to the presentations given by international experts, a large number of posters summarizing the work of our students will be presented at this symposium. We hope to see you there in great numbers. On the other hand, the preparations for the IEEE NEWCAS 2018 conference are progressing rapidly. Authors were informed of the outcome of the review process, the acceptance rate is 49%. In pursuing the objective to present a conference of the highest standard, three renowned speakers will give plenary sessions. The program is on the conference web portal (newcas2018.org). We wish to convey our thanks to all those who contributed to the success of this edition of NEWCAS and we invite all members of the ReSMiQ to participate in great numbers.

On another level, we welcome the new student committee of ReSMiQ. This committee brings together a student representative at each of the 9 partner institutions. Its mandate is to disseminate the various activities and announcements to students and help promote ReSMiQ. One of the 9 student representative also seats on the executive committee.

We invite members of ReSMiQ who have announcements to circulate among all members and students of the center to send them to us. They will be posted on the ReSMiQ web portal in the News> Announcements section. By the same token, we invite all researchers and students to visit this section regularly to be informed of recent announcements.



– Dr. Lakhssassi from the Université du Québec en Outaouais received an Engage grant from NSERC in partnership with the company Nandbox Inc.
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– Dr. Langlois from Polytechnique Montréal is technical program co-chair for the conference DASIP to be held in Porto, Portugal, from October 9 to 12.
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David Stoppa from ams-Heptagon presented the seminar entitled « Time of Flight 3D Sensing and Imaging: detectors, readout circuits and data processing » organized as part of our continuing training program in collaboration with the IEEE Montréal’s chapters of the Solid State Circuit Society (SSCS) and the Circuits and Systems Society (CASS).


Ultrasound-Powered Nerve Implant Works Deep in Body: An implant that goes in without surgery could help make “electroceuticals” a reality… More details

Graphene is Grown With the Same Band Gap as Silicon: No doping or nanostructuring is required for new bottom-up method to grow graphene with a perfect band gap… More details

Nanobots Glide Through Living Cells: Rotating magnetic fields precisely steer the nanomachines, tracing letters in cytoplasm… More details

“Quasi-Non-Volatile” Memory Looks to Fill Gap Between Volatile and Non-Volatile Memory: 2D materials produce a semi-floating gate memory that falls somewhere between DRAM and SRAM… More details

Yarn-like Rechargeable Zinc Battery Could Power Smart Clothes and Wearables: The zinc yarn battery works when knotted, stretched, cut, and washed… More details

SIGNAL is the main monthly information medium of the Microsystems Strategic Alliance of Québec (ReSMiQ). This newsletter aims to be an active link between the members of ReSMiQ and all individuals who have an interest in research and innovation in microsystems. We commit ourselves to promote in it our members’ research and increase ReSMiQ’s visibility.

ReSMiQ is a group of researchers in an interuniversity research center that can count on the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and nine (9) Quebec universities involved in microsystems research.

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Call for contributions

12th NAMIS international Autumn school,
from september 10 to 14, 2018, Seattle, USA.

Submission deadline : May 18, 2018.
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Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing (DASIP),
du 9 au 12 octobre 2018, Porto, Portugal.
Submission deadline : May 25, 2018.
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IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS2018),
from October 17 to 19, 2018, Cleveland, U.S.A.
Submission deadline : June 11, 2018.
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IEEE Life Science Conference (LSC2018),
from October 28 to 30, 2018, Montréal, Canada

Submission deadline : June 4, 2018.
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Call for participation

31st Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer engineering (CCECE),
from May 13 to 16, 2018, Québec, Canada.
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2018 International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS),
from May 27 to 30, 2018, Florence, Italy.

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16th IEEE International NEWCAS Conference (NEWCAS),
from June 24 to 27, 2018, Montréal, Canada.
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The 31st International Conference on Industrial, Engineering & Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IAE-AIE2018),
from June 25 to 28, 2018, Montréal, Canada.
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18th International Forum on MPSoC for Software-defined Hardware (MPSoC’18),
from July 29 to August 3, 2018, Snowbird, UT, USA.

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61st IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS),
from August 5 to 8, 2018, Windsor, ON, Canada.
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12th International Conference on Verification and Evaluation of Computer and Communication Systems (VECoS 2018),
du 26 au 28 septembre 2018, Grenoble, France.

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XXXIII  Conference on design of circuits and integrated systems (DCIS),
from November 14 to 16, 2018, Lyon, France.
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Prof. Gabriela Nicolescu
Polytechnique Montréal

Member of ReSMiQ since 2003

Gabriela Nicolescu received the Ph.D. degree in Microelectronics from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France. She is currently a Professor and the Director of the Heterogeneous Embedded Systems Laboratory in the Department of Software and Computer Engineering at Polytechnique de Montréal, QC, Canada. She co-authored more than 190 papers, including journal articles, conference papers, books, book chapters, and holds two patents. Her current research interests include the design methodologies, programming models, and security for advanced heterogeneous systems-on-chip integrating advanced technologies. She is on the organizing committee of several international conferences and is has been a member of different Journal Editors Committees.
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Below is a selection of publications in recent years followed by representative work.

  1. Ayari, R., Nikdast, M., Hafnaoui, I., Beltrame, G. & Nicolescu, G. (2017). HypAp: a Hypervolume-Based Approach for Refining the Design of Embedded Systems. IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, 9(3), 57-60.
  2. Hafnaoui, I., Ayari, R., Nicolescu, G. & Beltrame, G. (2017). Scheduling real-time systems with cyclic dependence using data criticality. Design Automation for Embedded Systems, 21(2), 117-136.
  3. Nikdast, M., Nicolescu, G., Trajkovic, J. & Liboiron-Ladouceur, O. (2016). Chip-scale silicon photonic interconnects: A formal study on fabrication non-uniformity. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 34(16), 3682-3695.
  4. de Magalhaes, F.G., Priti, R., Nikdast, M., Hessel, F., Liboiron-Ladouceur, O. & Nicolescu, G. (2016). Design and modeling of a low-latency centralized controller for optical integrated networks. IEEE Communications Letters, 20(3), 462-465.
  5. Ayari, R., Hafnaoui, I., Aguiar, A., Gilbert, P., Galibois, M., Rousseau, J.-P., Beltrame, G. & Nicolescu, G. (2016). Multi-objective mapping of full-mission simulators on heterogeneous distributed multi-processor systems. Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation: Applications, Methodology, Technology.
  6. Li, H., Fourmigue, A., Le Beux, S., O'Connor, I. & Nicolescu, G. (2016). Towards Maximum Energy Efficiency in Nanophotonic Interconnects with Thermal-Aware On-Chip Laser Tuning. IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing, 13 pages.
  7. Fourmigue, A., Beltrame, G. & Nicolescu, G. (2016). Transient thermal simulation of liquid-cooled 3-D circuits. IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, 6(9), 1349-1360.


HypAp: A Hypervolume-Based Approach for Refining the Design of Embedded Systems

Designing complex embedded systems requires simultaneous optimization of multiple system performance metrics that can be addressed by applying Pareto-based multiobjective optimization techniques. At the end of this type of optimization process, designers always face Pareto Fronts (PF) including a large number of near-optimal solutions from which selecting the most proper system implementation is potentially infeasible. In this letter, for the first time, we present HypAp, a hypervolume-based automated approach to systematically help designers efficiently choose their preferred solutions after the optimization process. HypAp is a two-stage approach relying on clustering Pareto optimal solutions and then finding a subset of solutions that maximize the hypervolume by using a genetic algorithm. The performance of HypAp is evaluated through applying HypAp to the PF by the case study of mapping applications on network-on-chip-based heterogeneous MPSoC.

Fig. 1. Hypervolume indicator for the non-dominated solutions with respect to the nadir point in a bi-objective optimization problem.


Fig. 2. Case study of a network-on-chip (NoC) mapping problem with three objectives; load variance, communication cost, and energy consumption. (a) We apply HypAp to the PF, obtained by mapping the generated task graphs on the NoC architecture. HypAp first classifies the optimal solutions on the PF into four clusters. Solutions in each cluster are indicated using a unique color in (b). As can be seen, clusters represent different aspects of the PF with respect to the cost functions.

TABLE I Comparing the reduced Pareto Front (RPF) Obtained Using HypAp and K -Means with the PF of the NoC Case Study. The RPF obtained using HypAp has a better uniformity compared with that from K -means and even the one from the PF itself.