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Enabling Scalable Hybrid Systems: Architectures for Exploiting Large-Area Electronics in Applications

By enabling diverse and large-scale transducers, large-area electronics raises the potential forelectronic systems to interact much more extensively with the physical world than is possible today. This can substantially expand the scope of applications, both in number and in value. But first, translation into applications requires a base of system functions (instrumentation, computation, powermanagement, communication). These cannot be realized on the desired scale by large-area electronicsalone.

It is necessary to combine large-area electronics with high-performance, high-efficiency technologies, such as crystalline silicon CMOS, within hybrid systems. Scalable hybrid systems require rethinking the subsystem architectures from the start by considering how the technologies should be interfaced, on both a functional and physical level. To explore platform architectures along with the supporting circuits and devices, we consider as an application driver, a self-powered sheet for high-resolution structural health monitoring (of bridges and buildings). Top-down evaluation of design alternatives within the hybrid design space and pursuit of template architectures exposes circuit functions and device optimizations traditionally overlooked by bottom-up approaches alone.