Journal article

Compact, Energy-Efficient High-Frequency Switched Capacitor Neural Stimulator With Active Charge Balancing

Safety and energy efficiency are two major concerns for implantable neural stimulators. This paper presents a novel high-frequency, switched capacitor (HFSC) stimulation and active charge balancing scheme, which achieves high energy efficiency and well-controlled stimulation charge in the presence of large electrode impedance variations. Furthermore, the HFSC can be implemented in a compact size without any external component to simultaneously enable multichannel stimulation by deploying multiple stimulators. The theoretical analysis shows significant benefits over the constant-current and voltage-mode stimulation methods. The proposed solution was fabricated using a 0.18 μm high-voltage technology, and occupies only 0.035 mm2 for a single stimulator. The measurement result shows 50% peak energy efficiency and confirms the effectiveness of active charge balancing to prevent the electrode dissolution.


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