Energy Efficient Automatic Gain Control for Electronics and Sensors

Technology #15838

Controls Both Timing of Integrate-and-Fire Pulse Train and Analog Amplitude in Electronic Systems

This energy efficient, pulse-based automatic gain control can be utilized with both pulse-based and analog signal processing systems. Automatic gain control circuits are used in electronic systems such as communication receivers, radar, and audio and video systems, where the level of an input signal fluctuates over wide dynamic ranges. This market is expected to reach $50 billion in 2017. Available automatic gain control systems use amplitude or modulation to detect parameters, providing a controlled signal output even when the input signal varies from strong to weak. Researchers at the University of Florida have created an automatic gain control that uses integrate-and-fire sampler to detect timing between integrate-and-fire pulses to then vary the gain. This enables control of both analog amplitude and timing of the integrate-and-fire pulse train at the same time.


Automatic gain control that can be used in both analog and pulse-based signal processing systems


  • Uses integrate-and-fire sampler, enabling detection and control of timing of the integrate-and-fire pulse train
  • Consumes an extremely low amount of power, enabling use in the front end of low power analog signal processing systems
  • Includes integrate-and-fire sampler in the automatic gain control loop, enabling use in both analog and pulse-based signal processing systems


This automatic gain control uses the integrate-and-fire sampler to detect the timing in between the integrate-and-fire pulses instead of detecting parameters based on amplitude or modulation. The integrate-and-fire timing is then used to vary the gain. Including the integrate-and-fire sampler in the automated gain control loop enables control of both analog and pulse-based signal processing systems. The integrate-and-fire sampler, one of the main components of the automatic gain control, consumes extremely low power; it can be used in the frontend of low-power analog signal processing systems.