Ultralow-power electronics for biomedical applications

Anantha R. Chandrakasan, Naveen Verma, Denis C. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

223 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-274
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


  • CMOS
  • Energy harvesting
  • Implantable devices
  • Subthreshold operation
  • Ultralow-power circuits
  • Wireless communication


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