ISCAS2016 was a success!

The IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (IEEE-ISCAS), the flagship conference of the Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) was held in Montréal, Canada, from May 22 to 25, 2016. This edition of ISCAS’s was organized by CASS’s members from the Microsystems Strategic Alliance of Québec (ReSMiQ), and co-sponsored by several regional, national and North-American partners.

The theme of this ISCAS’s edition was “Toward Innovative Nanosystems for Greater Well-Being”, which allowed focusing on microcircuits and nanosystems that could influence human well-being and quality of life. The technical program was tailored to reflect the wide spectrum of topics and interests shared by researchers in the field. In general, these topics covered the theory, design, implementation, and tests of circuits and systems for different applications in information technologies, telecommunications, power, control, and especially this year, in biomedical and life science applications.

The local organizing committee worked hard throughout the conference preparation looking forward to offer a memorable symposium and stay in Montreal to all visitors. Thanks to a strategic sponsorship agreement with Tourism Montreal, we were able to offer a high-quality social program and also to include coupons in the conference bag to support and encourage all of the attendees to discover Montreal, our beautiful city.

We hope that Montreal city, as well as the venue, Le Centre Sheraton, have satisfied the attendees’ expectation. Knowing that there is always room for improvement, we were pleased with compliments received from many attendees regarding the quality of both technical and social programs and the organization of the conference in general. Some of them might exaggerate a bit telling us that it was the best ISCAS of all times.

Welcoming remarks

The opening ceremony of the symposium on Monday, May 23, was moderated by Mohamad Sawan, the general Chair, who welcomed all special guests, the organizing committee, the sponsoring organizations, and highlighted the main activities of the technical and social programs of ISCAS’16.  The Co-Chair of Technical Committee, Gabriel Rincon-Mora, presented the details of the technical program and summarized the statistics of contributions of ISCAS’16.

We were honored by the warm welcome speech of Mr. Denis Coderre, the Mayor of Montreal, who presented to attendees the vision of both the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec in the development of the Digital Economy. Mr. Coderre invited all attendees to discover the city, spend a lot of money and stay longer in Montreal after the conference. The second welcoming remarks was addressed by Dr. Maryse Lassonde, Scientific Director du Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et Technologies (FRQNT), who presented the FRQNT’s support in sciences and technologies, and she recognized the major contributions accomplished by our ReSMiQ research center. Then Dr. Pierre J. Charest, Vice-President of Research Grants and Scholarships at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), briefly exposed the strategy of NSERC and the grants available to support cutting-edge research in all sciences and engineering fields.

Overview of the technical contributions

On Sunday, May 22, the conference started with 8 half-day and one full-day tutorials that elicited high interest among participants.

On Monday May 23, after the opening ceremony, a first keynote – Analog and Stochastic Computation in Living Cells and Cytomorphic Chips, was delivered by Rahul Sarpeshkar, Thomas E. Kurtz Professor at Dartmouth College, USA. On May 24, the second Keynote – Clinical and research challenges in vascular diseases was presented by Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) Research Centre, Canada. On the last day, the 3rd Keynote – Mixed-signal design in the era of Cheap Algorithms; What will an A/D converter look like in the year 2025? was addressed by Bob Adams, Technology Fellow from Analog Devices, Inc., USA.

On the other hand, in addition to the 15 main tracks of ISCAS, the Technical Program Committee monitored the concentration of submitted contributions, and the priority given by authors to the emerging fields, then three grand challenges for ISCAS’16 were identified as fellow: Green Telecommunications, Wireless Microsensors, and Green Power.  The latter were the subject of regular and special lecture sessions.  Also Live Demonstrations of Circuits and Systems received a record of submissions this year.

Thanks to colleagues who organized two Memorial Sessions titled “Kirchhoff Paradigm, Wave Digital Filters, and More: A Tribute to Alfred Fettweis”, grouping in 12 lectures were presented.

On the other hand, a custom presentation from Cadence entitled “Extensive verification of analog IP in deep sub-micron and FinFET technologies using the latest Virtuoso tools Suite”, that was offered by Dr. Louis-Francois Tanguay, Principal Design Engineer at Cadence, attracted a large number of attendees who highly appreciated this update of the one of most used tools by CAS designers.

Special first time within ISCAS events

The Symposium this year was prolific in special events of high quality that attracted large number of participants.  These special events are:

Late Breaking News (LBN), which was introduced to respond to the fast pace of changes nowadays in circuits and systems and to facilitate fast dissemination of highest impact research and application results in this area. Lectures of the LBN were grouped into three special sessions: Emerging Technologies and Low Power Subsystems; Signal Processing Strategies, Design, and Applications; and Sensors and Sensory Information Processing. All of the selected one-page LBN papers were invited to submit extended version for publication in a special issue of IEEE-TCAS-II.

CAS Transactions, which allowed authors with papers published over 2015, as well as those in the pre-publication list in the IEEE Transactions (co)sponsored by CASS, to present their work at ISCAS’16.

Pitch your Startup. This original event within ISCAS aimed at promoting academic entrepreneurship and industry participation through presentations of startup companies from around the world. These companies pitched their high-quality products in the field of circuits and systems. A CAN$ 1000 Prize was awarded to the best presentation chosen by an ad-hoc evaluation committee formed by researchers with entrepreneurship experience and local industry representatives working on CAS fields. The award went to Fu Luo-Larson, Co-founder & VP of Hardware Division, Titanium Falcon Inc., USA.

Successful Traditional Annual ISCAS Events

WiCAS/YP held on May 23 a discussion panel and a networking event. Panellists from academia and industry shared with the participants their own experience in the panel entitled “Engineering career – which path to choose?” The discussion was of high interest to young professionals and Ph.D. students in the area of CAS who learned tips on how to best choose a career path.

• CASFEST 2016, which this year highlighted the topic of “Lab on CMOS Systems”, was held on May 26 at Polytechnique Montreal. In this one-Day workshop, researchers from several countries presented their work on the emerging concept of directly integrating active electronics into traditional passive Lab-on-Chip (LoC) systems that represent a new class of Lab-on-CMOS (LoCMOS) systems. Two plenary talks were presented by Mohamad Sawan from Polytechnique Montreal and by Andrew Mason from Michigan State University. Animated and spontaneous exchanges on hot topics were held during author’s presentations and especially during the Discussion Panel “LoCMOS technical challenges”.

Social program

The social program of ISCAS’16 started on Sunday, May 22, with the Welcome Reception hosted at the Cirque Éloize located in the Gare Dalhousie, a historic building in the heart of Old Montréal, next to the Montreal’s Old Port. A large number of participants were present and networked in a sunny afternoon animated by the Cirque Éloize’s artists, tasty canapés, refreshing juices, and cocktails. After the reception, the attendees were invited, guided by local volunteers, to walk around the main attraction points of the Old Montreal village.

On Tuesday May 24, we were proud to offer ISCAS’16 attendees a memorable Gala Dinner featuring high-quality animation by the Block Note Big Band and a fine dining by Francis Beaulieu Traiteur, making it a Banquet to remember! The Gala Dinner was held at the Salle des pas perdus of the Gare Windsor. An opening cocktail including drinks and canapés was followed by the CASS Awards Ceremony and speeches and was closed by a fine dining livened up by local artists well appreciated by the attendees.

During the Farewell Party and closing ceremony on May 25, Mohamad Sawan, the conference general chair, expressed his gratitude to keynote and tutorial speakers, the reviewers, all of the participants, the local and international organizing committee members, the IEEE Catalysts, the devoted volunteers and students, and the sponsors who make this ISCAS edition a great success.  These sponsors are: Toursime Montréal, CMC Microsystems, Analog devices, Mentor Graphics, IEEE Lifesciences, Hardent, Fujifilm Dimatix, UQAM, eSilicon, and Springer.

Also, Prof. Sawan addressed his warm thanks to the technical program co-chairs: Gabriel Rincon-Mora and Majid Ahmadi, who did a fantastic job on coordinating the review process and selecting the best contributions among the pool of submitted papers. During the closing ceremony Prof. Sawan announced the raffle winner of the latest iPad model draw among all those who booked hotel rooms at the conference venue, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel. Then, best student’s paper awards and best Live Demo Award were announced.  The list of the awardees is:

First place: I. Gupta, University of Southampton, UK

Second place: S. A. Hashemi, McGill University, Canada

Third place: D. H. Saari, Analog Devices Inc., USA

Conference Website and Twitter

The ISCAS’16 website ( went online almost two years in advance of the conference beginning to promote the event and kept informing all participants. A responsive site, which automatically adapted to the different media devices, evolved accordingly to the conference development stage and allowed an easy access to the most important and detailed information. The application Conference-4-Me was also available for mobile devices. A LinkedIn and a Twitter thread (@iscas2016, #ISCAS2016) were used to support conference promotion and to keep timely posted all participants with the most important events during the conference preparation.  It was also used to report live news and promote the main technical and social activities during ISCAS’16.


General Statistics

The Technical program committee received 1687 paper submissions, 2705 reviewers  recommended the acceptance of 781 contributions representing 46.3%. This huge selection task was managed by 325 Review Committee Members (RCMs). The accepted manuscripts were scheduled in 94 regular and invited lecture sessions, and 27 poster sessions. 41% of submitted papers are from Asia, 30% from North America, 20% from Europe, 5% from Middle East and Africa, and 4% from Latin America. 93% of submissions are from academia, 3% from industry, 3% from research facilities, and 1% from government agencies.

Regarding track and special sessions distributions, they are 15% of submissions are in VLSI, 13% are in analog, 13% in Late-Breaking News, 8% of submissions are in Invited Sessions, 7% in biomedical, 7% in communications, 6% in digital signal processing, 5% in power and energy, 5% in nonlinear circuits and systems, 4% in nanoelectronics and gigascale systems, 3% in multimedia, 3% in neural networks, 3% in sensory systems, 3% in visual signal processing and communications, 2% in Live Demonstrations, 2% in special TCAS sessions, and 1% in education. Thanks are due to the 158 Session Co-Chairs and to Tom Wehner, the lead of Epapers tool.

Finally, it is our pleasure to share with all participants the following 2-min Youtube summarizing the main events of ISCAS’16, and the photos that will be shortly posted at the, please visit it.

Thank you to all and look forward to meeting you at ISCAS 2017.


Mohamad Sawan, Professor, Polytechnique Montreal, ISCAS 2016 General Chair    

© IEEE CAS Society 2016