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Implementation of Flash Analog-to-Digital Converters in Silicon-on-Insulator CMOS Technology
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronics System. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A 130 nm partially depleted silicon-on-insulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology is evaluated with respect to analog circuit implementation. We perform the evaluation through implementation of three flash analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). Our study indicate that to fully utilize the potential performance advantages of the SOI CMOS technology the partially depleted SOI CMOS technology should be replaced by a fully depleted technology. The manufacturing difficulties regarding the control of the thin-film thickness must however first be solved. A strong motivator for using the SOI CMOS technology instead of bulk CMOS seems to be the smaller gate leakage power consumption.

The targeted applications in mind for the ADCs are read channel and ultra wideband radio applications. These applications requires a resolution of at least four to six bits and a sampling frequency of above 1 GHz. Hence the flash ADC topology is chosen for the implementations. In this work we do also propose enhancements to the flash ADC converter. Further, this work also investigates introduction of dynamic element matching (DEM) into a flash ADC. A method to introduce DEM into the reference net of a flash ADC is proposed and evaluated.

To optimize the performance of the whole system and derive the specifications for the sub-blocks of the system it is often desired to use a top-down design methodology. To facilitate the top-down design methodology the ADCs are modeled on behavioral level using MATLAB and SpectreHDL. The modeling results are used to verify the functionality of the proposed circuit topologies and serve as a base to the circuit design phase.

The first flash ADC implementation has a conventional topology. It has a resistor net connected to a number of latched comparators and employs a ones-counter thermometer-to-binary decoder. This ADC serves as a reference for evaluating the other topologies. The measurements indicate a maximum sampling frequency of 470 MHz, an SNDR of 26.3 dB, and an SFDR of about 29 to 35 dB.

The second ADC has a similar topology as the reference ADC, but its thermometer-to-binary decoder is based on 2-to-1 multiplexers buffered with inverters. This gives a compact decoder with a regular structure and a short critical path. The measurements show that it is more efficient in terms of power consumption than the ones-counter decoder and it has 40 % smaller chip area. Further, the SNDR and SFDR are similar as for the reference ADC, but its maximum sampling frequency is about 660 MHz.

The third ADC demonstrates the introduction of DEM into the reference net of a flash ADC. Our proposed technique requires fewer switches in the reference net than other proposals. Our technique should thereby be able to operate at higher sampling and input frequencies than compared with the other proposals. This design yields information about the performance improvements the DEM gives, and what the trade-offs are when introducing DEM. Behavioral level simulations indicate that the SFDR is improved by 11 dB in average when introducing DEM. The transistor level simulations in Cadence and measurements of the ADC with DEM indicates that the SFDR improves by 6 dB and 1.5 dB, respectively, when applying DEM. The smaller improvement indicated by the measurements is believed to be due to a design flaw discovered during the measurements. A mask layer for the resistors of the reference net is missing, which affects their accuracy and degrades the ADC performance. The same reference net is used in the other ADCs, and therefore degrades their performance as well. Hence the measured performance is significantly lower than indicated by the transistor level simulations. Further, it is observed that the improved SFDR is traded for an increased chip area and a reduction of the maximum sampling frequency. The DEM circuitry impose a 30 % larger chip area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för systemteknik , 2007. , 173 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1093
Keyword [en]
analog-to-digital converters, ADC, silicon-on-insulator, SOI
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-8712ISBN: 978-91-85715-18-3OAI: diva2:23414
Public defence
2007-05-11, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2007-05-02 Created: 2007-05-02 Last updated: 2009-03-12

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