The 3rd IFSA Frequency and Time Conference (IFTC’ 2021) is organized by International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA) – one of the major professional, non-profit association serving for sensor industry and academy more than 20 years.
IFSA was founded on 23 August 1999 with the aim to encourage the research and development in the area of sensors with frequency, time interval, duty-cycle and digital output, including multifunction, multifrequency transducers, the usage of new physical effects and principles. IFSA reports on current research in this field worldwide through its media: Sensors Web Portal, IFSA Newsletter, Sensors & Transducers journal, e-Digest (magazine) and related conferences. Today IFSA has more that 750 members from 74 countries from academia and industry worldwide.
In 1961 professor P. V. Novitskiy wrote: «… In the future we can expect, that a class of frequency output sensors will get such development, that the number of now known frequency output sensors will exceed the number of now known amplitude sensors…». It was also predicted in a technology forecast in 1971: “Many basic measurements will be related to or measured by time/frequency techniques. This situation will occur because of the increasing facility and accuracy provided through time frequency measurements… Frequency and computing counters can be expected to become smaller, lighter and cheaper, provide direct frequency readout and will be more universally used… Progress will continue in the field of time and frequency during the next five years and will contribute materially to the state of the art in electronics”.
Despite the fact that this forecast was not fully justified till now, it is really the situation when “the future glimmers long before it comes to be”. Today, the next big challenge has come from microelectronics. So, in 2010 professor Staphan Henzler did write: “Below the 100 nm technology node the design of analog and mixed-signal circuits becomes perceptibly more difficult. This is particularly true for low supply voltage near 1 V or below. The result is not only an increased design effort but also a growing power consumption. … However, digital circuits become faster, smaller, and less power hungry”.
Frequency/time domain signal processing and so time-to-digital converters (TDC) and frequencyto-digital (FDC) converters are well suitable for high volume microelectronics in order to circumvent analog impairments in nanometer-scale CMOS technologies. Hence, the TDC and FDC concepts are promising that have the ability to exploit fully the advantage of digital circuits. The FDC will be a trend-setting technology for ultimately scaled CMOS technologies in the nearest future, and can be used for many applications such as smart digital sensors, IoT and Industry 4.0. No any doubt that now we are living in time, when the old prediction becomes true!
On the basis of the mentioned above and Industry 4.0 and IoT 2.0 challenges it has been decided to start a new annual international conference, which will cover both: methods of measurements of frequency-time parameters of signals, and devices including appropriate sensors, transducers and converters to frequency, and frequency to digital. Sure, the conference can not ignore the other related areas connected with frequency and time, namely: generation, transfer, various oscillators and resonators, standards and references, etc.
The 1st IFSA Frequency and Time Conference (IFTC’ 2019) has taken place in Barcelona, Spain (2019), and the 2nd IFSA Frequency and Time Conference (IFTC’ 2020) — in Porto (Portugal). The 3rd IFTC’ 2021 will take place in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands), Spain in conjunction with the 7th Annual International Conference on Sensors and Electronic Instrumentation Advances (SEIA’ 2021) under the same conference umbrella.