To write about the history of a subject is a challenge that grows with the number of pages as the original goal of completeness is turning more and more into an impossibility. With this in mind, the present article takes a very narrow approach and uses personal side trips and memories on conferences,
workshops, and summer schools as the stage for some of the most important protagonists and their contributions to the field of Differential-Algebraic Equations (DAEs).
The advances in sensor technology have introduced smart electronic products with
high integration of multi-sensor elements, sensor electronics and sophisticated signal
processing algorithms, resulting in intelligent sensor systems with a significant level
of complexity. This complexity leads to higher vulnerability in performing their
respective functions in a dynamic environment. The system dependability can be
improved via the implementation of self-x features in reconfigurable systems. The
reconfiguration capability requires capable switching elements, typically in the form
of a CMOS switch or miniaturized electromagnetic relay. The emerging DC-MEMS
switch has the potential to complement the CMOS switch in System-in-Package as
well as integrated circuits solutions. The aim of this thesis is to study the feasibility
of using DC-MEMS switches to enable the self-x functionality at system level.
The self-x implementation is also extended to the component level, in which the
ISE-DC-MEMS switch is equipped with self-monitoring and self-repairing features.
The MEMS electrical behavioural model generated by the design tool is inadequate,
so additional electrical models have been proposed, simulated and validated. The
simplification of the mechanical MEMS model has produced inaccurate simulation
results that lead to the occurrence of stiction in the actual device. A stiction conformity
test has been proposed, implemented, and successfully validated to compensate
the inaccurate mechanical model. Four different system simulations of representative
applications were carried out using the improved behavioural MEMS model, to
show the aptness and the performances of the ISE-DC-MEMS switch in sensitive
reconfiguration tasks in the application and to compare it with transmission gates.
The current design of the ISE-DC-MEMS switch needs further optimization in terms
of size, driving voltage, and the robustness of the design to guarantee high output
yield in order to match the performance of commercial DC MEMS switches.