Tech ministry to invest NT$4 billion in IC development, aiming AI

Tech ministry to invest NT$4 billion in IC development, aiming AI

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said Tuesday that it plans to invest NT$4 billion (US$132 million) over the next four years in the local semiconductor sector in a bid to maintain Taiwan’s global competitive edge.

Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) told the press that the four-year plan code named the “moon shoot” has set its sights on artificial intelligence by widening the applications of Taiwan’s integrated circuit industry to meet demand.

According to the ministry, the four-year plan will kick off in 2018 as it starts to allocate NT$1 billion a year.

Chen said that with many international brands having entered AI development, it is expected to boost demand for highly efficient computing and energy-efficient ICs. As a result, Taiwan is in a strong position to take advantage of its strength in semiconductor technology to seize newly developing business opportunities.

International tech giants that have poured resources into the AI industry include Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Intel Corp., and Qualcomm Inc.

In particular, Chen said, Taiwan is good at IC design and that strength is expected to help the local semiconductor industry roll out specialty ICs for future AI applications.

Chen said that his ministry has designated 2017 the first year of AI development in Taiwan, with the four-year IC development plan expected to roll out critical IC devices for AI development by 2022.

Chen said the global semiconductor business is expected to launch commercial production of chips made using the advanced 3 nanometer process in 2022, an important transition point for AI development. In addition, the ministry’s four-year IC development plan will help Taiwan’s efforts to advance AI industry.

Currently, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chip maker, is focusing on developing the 3nm process, with a plan to set up a new 3nm plant.

TSMC’s latest technology to enter commercial production is the 10nm processor, while the chip maker is developing 7nm, 5nm and 3nm processes in a bid to maintain its lead over competitors in the global semiconductor market.

According to the ministry, the four-year investment plan was devised after consulting with IC giants such as TSMC, United Microelectronics Corp. (聯電) and Taiwan’s largest IC designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科).

The ministry said funding will mainly go to the academic sector, which is expected to seek a partnership with the business community over the next four years, adding that the plan looks to cultivate a pool of talent for Taiwanese firms.

The ministry added that the four-year plan is not part of the government’s “Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program,” which has its own budget for digital technology development.

The country will spend up to NT$420 billion on the forward-looking program over the next four years.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)

Laser Security Alarm Circuit

Laser Security Alarm Circuit

Security is main concern for various buildings, houses and offices. For this purpose, there are a variety of security alarms available in market which uses various types of technology for intruder detection like infrared sensors, motion sensors, ultrasonic sensors, laser sensors, etc. We have also built some security alarms like this PIR sensor based motion detector and burglar alarm circuit. In this circuit we are going to build a laser security alarm which uses a laser light and a laser light detector circuit. It gets activated when someone crosses it.

Circuit Components

  • IC LM358
  • 555 Timer IC
  • Laser light
  • 150 Ohm, 10K Resistor
  • 10 K POT
  • 220uF capacitor
  • LDR
  • Breadboard
  • 9 Volt Battery and Connector
  • LED

Circuit Diagram and Explanation

Laser Security Alarm Circuit

In this laser security alarm circuit we have used LM358 Dual Comparator IC for comparing voltages coming from LDR. Comparator is configured as Non-inverting mode and one 10K potentiometer is connected at its non-inverting terminal. An LDR is used for detecting light or laser light with respect to ground through a 10K resistor. And the midpoint of LDR and resistor is directly connected to inverting terminal of comparator.  A red LED is connected at output pin of comparator for indicating intruder detection. A mono-stable multi-vibrator is also used for activating buzzer and LED for a time period.  And a 9 volt battery is used for powering the circuit.

Working  of Laser Security Alarm Circuit

In this circuit we have set reference voltages of comparators by using potentiometer, we can say this sensitivity of the circuit. Comparator is configured in non-inverting mode. In this system we have placed laser light and LDR facing each other, so laser light continuously falls on LDR. Due to this a potential difference generated across the non-inverting pin of comparator, then comparator compare this potential difference with reference voltage and generate a digital output as HIGH. Before this we have configured 555 timer in mono-stable mode so we it required a LOW trigger pulse at its trigger pin to activate buzzer and LED. So we applied output of comparator at trigger pin of 555 timer. Even comparator’s output is HIGH when laser lights falls on LDR so at this time buzzer and LED are deactivated. When someone crosses the laser light due to this LDR lost the laser light and generates a different potential difference across the same comparator terminal. Then comparator generates an output as LOW. Due to this LOW signal 555 timer gets a LOW trigger pulse and activates buzzer and LED for a time periods that is defined by R1 and C1 at 555 timer circuit.

Laser Security Alarm Circuit

Main component of this circuit is LDR which detects dark and light. LDR is a light dependent resistor which changes his resistance according to the light. When light falls on the LDR surface, it reduces its resistance and when no light resistance of LDR become Maximum. Understand more about working of LDR in this Dark Detector Circuit.

The 555 timer time calculation formula in mono-stable mode is:

Time period T is given by :

T = 1.1 R1 * C1

Where T is time in seconds, R1 is resistance in ohm and C1 is capacitor in farads

To demonstrate this project we have used a small toy laser light.