Alvin Chan Chit Sang, Senior Manager, ICS
Alvin Chan started his career path of Integrated Circuits (IC) design after his MPhil study in The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). The products he involved include OLED display driver, LED TV backlight driver, Ultrasonic imaging IC and TFT display driver. In 2019, he joined ASTRI, with research focuses on analog and mixed-signal design. In his leisure time, he has two main hobbies: model assembling and playing soccer.
Q. Tell us more about your area of research.
My research areas in ASTRI include high speed interface design, like MIPI, RGMII, I2C; analog mixed signal design, like ADC; and DC-DC converter, like high power synchronous buck converter.
Q. In particular, what issues are you hoping to address with your research? Any challenges?
To develop an IC, there are three phases: design, evaluation, and production. As a designer, I need to get involved in all these phases, all of which are very challenging.
In the design phase, I need to clarify specification with client, define circuit architecture, build up circuit schematic, review layout and prepare backup/debugging plan. In the evaluation phase, I need to work out the evaluation setup and define evaluation procedure for every specification item. In the production phase, I analyze the statistical data with test engineers and find out the root cause of yield loss items for yield improvement.
Q. What are some of your proudest moments in your career so far?
In my career, I was responsible to design LED driver and Display driver ICs, which are real hardware that you can see and touch. When I walk on the street and see some commercial products like mobile and TV using my ICs, it really motivates me and makes me proud of what I do. Indeed, IC design is a well-rewarded job once the projects are successful.
Q. Tips to excel in the field of your research area.
There are millions of components integrated into one tiny IC. To develop a successful IC, a designer needs to be careful, responsible, knowledgeable and communicate well with all team members.
Q. What will you do if you are not a researcher?
If I am not a researcher, I would like to be an owner of model assemble house. Model assemble house provides a venue for people to release their working pressure. During model assembling, different chemicals, tools and materials are used. Many innovative ideas may be triggered out.
Q. What’s your advice to the young people who want to contribute to the I&T industry and ASTRI?
Working in private companies, you can only work at a specific series of product. But as Hong Kong’s largest research centre conducting different kinds of projects including software or hardware, ASTRI provides a platform for young people to work on diversified projects. Young people can build up a strong knowledge base and gain diversified experience from here. They can be well trained up and become one of the key members to contribute the I&T industry one day.
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