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Evaluation and characterization of Silicon MESFETs in low dropout regulators

Description

The partially-depleted (PD) silicon Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MESFET) is becoming more and more attractive for analog and RF applications due to its high breakdown voltage. Compared to conventional CMOS high voltage transistors, the silicon MESFET can be fabricated

The partially-depleted (PD) silicon Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MESFET) is becoming more and more attractive for analog and RF applications due to its high breakdown voltage. Compared to conventional CMOS high voltage transistors, the silicon MESFET can be fabricated in commercial standard Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) CMOS foundries without any change to the process. The transition frequency of the device is demonstrated to be 45GHz, which makes the MESFET suitable for applications in high power RF power amplifier designs. Also, high breakdown voltage and low turn-on resistance make it the ideal choice for switches in the switching regulator designs. One of the anticipated applications of the MESFET is for the pass device for a low dropout linear regulator. Conventional NMOS and PMOS linear regulators suffer from high dropout voltage, low bandwidth and poor stability issues. In contrast, the N-MESFET pass transistor can provide an ultra-low dropout voltage and high bandwidth without the need for an external compensation capacitor to ensure stability. In this thesis, the design theory and problems of the conventional linear regulators are discussed. N-MESFET low dropout regulators are evaluated and characterized. The error amplifier used a folded cascode architecture with gain boosting. The source follower topology is utilized as the buffer to sink the gate leakage current from the MESFET. A shunt-feedback transistor is added to reduce the output impedance and provide the current adaptively. Measurement results show that the dropout voltage is less than 150 mV for a 1A load current at 1.8V output. Radiation measurements were done for discrete MESFET and fully integrated LDO regulators, which demonstrate their radiation tolerance ability for aerospace applications.

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Date Created
2013

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Wide input common-mode range fully integrated low-dropout voltage regulators

Description

The modern era of consumer electronics is dominated by compact, portable, affordable smartphones and wearable computing devices. Power management integrated circuits (PMICs) play a crucial role in on-chip power management, extending battery life and efficiency of integrated analog, radio-frequency (RF),

The modern era of consumer electronics is dominated by compact, portable, affordable smartphones and wearable computing devices. Power management integrated circuits (PMICs) play a crucial role in on-chip power management, extending battery life and efficiency of integrated analog, radio-frequency (RF), and mixed-signal cores. Low-dropout (LDO) regulators are commonly used to provide clean supply for low voltage integrated circuits, where point-of-load regulation is important. In System-On-Chip (SoC) applications, digital circuits can change their mode of operation regularly at a very high speed, imposing various load transient conditions for the regulator. These quick changes of load create a glitch in LDO output voltage, which hamper performance of the digital circuits unfavorably. For an LDO designer, minimizing output voltage variation and speeding up voltage glitch settling is an important task.

The presented research introduces two fully integrated LDO voltage regulators for SoC applications. N-type Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (NMOS) power transistor based operation achieves high bandwidth owing to the source follower configuration of the regulation loop. A low input impedance and high output impedance error amplifier ensures wide regulation loop bandwidth and high gain. Current-reused dynamic biasing technique has been employed to increase slew-rate at the gate of power transistor during full-load variations, by a factor of two. Three design variations for a 1-1.8 V, 50 mA NMOS LDO voltage regulator have been implemented in a 180 nm Mixed-mode/RF process. The whole LDO core consumes 0.130 mA of nominal quiescent ground current at 50 mA load and occupies 0.21 mm x mm. LDO has a dropout voltage of 200 mV and is able to recover in 30 ns from a 65 mV of undershoot for 0-50 pF of on-chip load capacitance.

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Date Created
2016

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Extraction of RF transceiver system parameters and impairments through detailed analytical modeling combined with a genetic algorithm approach

Description

ABSTRACT To meet stringent market demands, manufacturers must produce Radio Frequency (RF) transceivers that provide wireless communication between electronic components used in consumer products at extremely low cost. Semiconductor manufacturers are in a steady race to increase integration levels through

ABSTRACT To meet stringent market demands, manufacturers must produce Radio Frequency (RF) transceivers that provide wireless communication between electronic components used in consumer products at extremely low cost. Semiconductor manufacturers are in a steady race to increase integration levels through advanced system-on-chip (SoC) technology. The testing costs of these devices tend to increase with higher integration levels. As the integration levels increase and the devices get faster, the need for high-calibre low cost test equipment become highly dominant. However testing the overall system becomes harder and more expensive. Traditionally, the transceiver system is tested in two steps utilizing high-calibre RF instrumentation and mixed-signal testers, with separate measurement setups for transmitter and receiver paths. Impairments in the RF front-end, such as the I/Q gain and phase imbalance and nonlinearity, severely affect the performance of the device. The transceiver needs to be characterized in terms of these impairments in order to guarantee good performance and specification requirements. The motivation factor for this thesis is to come up with a low cost and computationally simple extraction technique of these impairments. In the proposed extraction technique, the mapping between transmitter input signals and receiver output signals are used to extract the impairment and nonlinearity parameters. This is done with the help of detailed mathematical modeling of the transceiver. While the overall behavior is nonlinear, both linear and nonlinear models to be used under different test setups are developed. A two step extraction technique has been proposed in this work. The extraction of system parameters is performed by using the mathematical model developed along with a genetic algorithm implemented in MATLAB. The technique yields good extraction results with reasonable error. It uses simple mathematical operation which makes the extraction fast and computationally simple when compared to other existing techniques such as traditional two step dedicated approach, Nonlinear Solver (NLS) approach, etc. It employs frequency domain analysis of low frequency input and output signals, over cumbersome time domain computations. Thus a test method, including detailed behavioral modeling of the transceiver, appropriate test signal design along with a simple algorithm for extraction is presented.

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Date Created
2011

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Self resonant third harmonic mixer for 60 GHz transmitter

Description

ABSTRACT Ongoing research into wireless transceivers in the 60 GHz band is required to address the demand for high data rate communications systems at a frequency where signal propagation is challenging even over short ranges. This thesis proposes a mixer

ABSTRACT Ongoing research into wireless transceivers in the 60 GHz band is required to address the demand for high data rate communications systems at a frequency where signal propagation is challenging even over short ranges. This thesis proposes a mixer architecture in Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology that uses a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) operating at a fractional multiple of the desired output signal. The proposed topology is different from conventional subharmonic mixing in that the oscillator phase generation circuitry usually required for such a circuit is unnecessary. Analysis and simulations are performed on the proposed mixer circuit in an IBM 90 nm RF process on a 1.2 V supply. A typical RF transmitter system is considered in determining the block requirements needed for the mixer to meet the IEEE 802.11ad 60 GHz Draft Physical Layer Specification. The proposed circuit has a conversion loss of 21 dB at 60 GHz with a 5 dBm LO power at 20 GHz. Input-referred third-order intercept point (IIP3) is 2.93 dBm. The gain and linearity of the proposed mixer are sufficient for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation at 60 GHz with a transmitted data rate of over 4 Gbps.

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Date Created
2010

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Modeling & analysis of a closed loop class D audio amplifier for PSR improvement

Description

Class D Amplifiers are widely used in portable systems such as mobile phones to achieve high efficiency. The demands of portable electronics for low power consumption to extend battery life and reduce heat dissipation mandate efficient, high-performance audio amplifiers. The

Class D Amplifiers are widely used in portable systems such as mobile phones to achieve high efficiency. The demands of portable electronics for low power consumption to extend battery life and reduce heat dissipation mandate efficient, high-performance audio amplifiers. The high efficiency of Class D amplifiers (CDAs) makes them particularly attractive for portable applications. The Digital class D amplifier is an interesting solution to increase the efficiency of embedded systems. However, this solution is not good enough in terms of PWM stage linearity and power supply rejection. An efficient control is needed to correct the error sources in order to get a high fidelity sound quality in the whole audio range of frequencies. A fundamental analysis on various error sources due to non idealities in the power stage have been discussed here with key focus on Power supply perturbations driving the Power stage of a Class D Audio Amplifier. Two types of closed loop Digital Class D architecture for PSRR improvement have been proposed and modeled. Double sided uniform sampling modulation has been used. One of the architecture uses feedback around the power stage and the second architecture uses feedback into digital domain. Simulation & experimental results confirm that the closed loop PSRR & PS-IMD improve by around 30-40 dB and 25 dB respectively.

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Date Created
2012

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Design and analysis of a dual supply class H audio amplifier

Description

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to expect. Class D amplifiers deliver on the goal of increased efficiency, but at the cost of distortion. Class AB amplifiers have low efficiency, but high linearity. By modulating the supply voltage of a Class AB amplifier to make a Class H amplifier, the efficiency can increase while still maintaining the Class AB level of linearity. A 92dB Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) Class AB amplifier and a Class H amplifier were designed in a 0.24um process for portable audio applications. Using a multiphase buck converter increased the efficiency of the Class H amplifier while still maintaining a fast response time to respond to audio frequencies. The Class H amplifier had an efficiency above the Class AB amplifier by 5-7% from 5-30mW of output power without affecting the total harmonic distortion (THD) at the design specifications. The Class H amplifier design met all design specifications and showed performance comparable to the designed Class AB amplifier across 1kHz-20kHz and 0.01mW-30mW. The Class H design was able to output 30mW into 16Ohms without any increase in THD. This design shows that Class H amplifiers merit more research into their potential for increasing efficiency of audio amplifiers and that even simple designs can give significant increases in efficiency without compromising linearity.

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Date Created
2013

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A Low Cost, High Dynamic Range, Versatile Digital Readout Integrated Circuit Unit Cell Prototype for Infrared Imaging Applications

Description

Readout Integrated Circuits(ROICs) are important components of infrared(IR) imag

ing systems. Performance of ROICs affect the quality of images obtained from IR

imaging systems. Contemporary infrared imaging applications demand ROICs that

can support large dynamic range, high frame rate, high output data rate,

Readout Integrated Circuits(ROICs) are important components of infrared(IR) imag

ing systems. Performance of ROICs affect the quality of images obtained from IR

imaging systems. Contemporary infrared imaging applications demand ROICs that

can support large dynamic range, high frame rate, high output data rate, at low

cost, size and power. Some of these applications are military surveillance, remote

sensing in space and earth science missions and medical diagnosis. This work focuses

on developing a ROIC unit cell prototype for National Aeronautics and Space Ad

ministration(NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s(JPL’s) space applications. These

space applications also demand high sensitivity, longer integration times(large well

capacity), wide operating temperature range, wide input current range and immunity

to radiation events such as Single Event Latchup(SEL).

This work proposes a digital ROIC(DROIC) unit cell prototype of 30ux30u size,

to be used mainly with NASA JPL’s High Operating Temperature Barrier Infrared

Detectors(HOT BIRDs). Current state of the art DROICs achieve a dynamic range

of 16 bits using advanced 65-90nm CMOS processes which adds a lot of cost overhead.

The DROIC pixel proposed in this work uses a low cost 180nm CMOS process and

supports a dynamic range of 20 bits operating at a low frame rate of 100 frames per

second(fps), and a dynamic range of 12 bits operating at a high frame rate of 5kfps.

The total electron well capacity of this DROIC pixel is 1.27 billion electrons, enabling

integration times as long as 10ms, to achieve better dynamic range. The DROIC unit

cell uses an in-pixel 12-bit coarse ADC and an external 8-bit DAC based fine ADC.

The proposed DROIC uses layout techniques that make it immune to radiation up to

300krad(Si) of total ionizing dose(TID) and single event latch-up(SEL). It also has a

wide input current range from 10pA to 1uA and supports detectors operating from

Short-wave infrared (SWIR) to longwave infrared (LWIR) regions.

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Date Created
2019

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A Truly In-shoe Force Measurement System

Description

In this work, the development of a novel and a truly in-shoe force measurement system is reported. The device consists of a shoe insole with six thin film piezoresistive sensors and the main circuit board. The piezoresistive sensors are used

In this work, the development of a novel and a truly in-shoe force measurement system is reported. The device consists of a shoe insole with six thin film piezoresistive sensors and the main circuit board. The piezoresistive sensors are used for the measurement of plantar pressure during daily human activities. The motion sensor mounted on the main circuit board captures kinematic data. In addition, the main circuit board is responsible for the wireless transmission of the data from all the sensors in real-time using BLE protocol. It is housed within the midsole of the shoe, under the medial arch of the foot. The real-time quantitative data and its analyses, enables athletic performance evaluation, biomedical ailment detection, and everyday fitness tracking. A test subject walked 20 steps on a flat surface at a comfortable speed wearing a shoe fitted with the insole and the main circuit board. Measurements were captured using a BLE enabled laptop and the test results were validated for accuracy. From the real-time data captured, the number of steps walked, the speed and the plantar pressure applied can be clearly established. Moreover, additional kinematic data from the motion sensor was captured. Further processing of kinematic data using techniques such as machine learning is essential to get meaningful inferences.

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Date Created
2018

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Class D audio amplifier design with power supply noise cancellation

Description

In this thesis, a digital input class D audio amplifier system which has the ability

to reject the power supply noise and nonlinearly of the output stage is presented. The main digital class D feed-forward path is using the fully-digital sigma-delta

In this thesis, a digital input class D audio amplifier system which has the ability

to reject the power supply noise and nonlinearly of the output stage is presented. The main digital class D feed-forward path is using the fully-digital sigma-delta PWM open loop topology. Feedback loop is used to suppress the power supply noise and harmonic distortions. The design is using global foundry 0.18um technology.

Based on simulation, the power supply rejection at 200Hz is about -49dB with

81dB dynamic range and -70dB THD+N. The full scale output power can reach as high as 27mW and still keep minimum -68dB THD+N. The system efficiency at full scale is about 82%.

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Date Created
2015

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Disturbance-free BIST for loop characterization of DC-DC buck converters

Description

Modern Complex electronic system include multiple power domains and drastically varying power consumption patterns, requiring the use of multiple power conversion and regulation units. High frequency switching converters have been gaining prominence in the DC-DC converter market due to their

Modern Complex electronic system include multiple power domains and drastically varying power consumption patterns, requiring the use of multiple power conversion and regulation units. High frequency switching converters have been gaining prominence in the DC-DC converter market due to their high efficiency. Unfortunately, they are all subject to higher process variations jeopardizing stable operation of the power supply.

This research mainly focus on the technique to track changes in the dynamic loop characteristics of the DC-DC converters without disturbing the normal mode of operation using a white noise based excitation and correlation. White noise excitation is generated via pseudo random disturbance at reference and PWM input of the converter with the test signal being spread over a wide bandwidth, below the converter noise and ripple floor. Test signal analysis is achieved by correlating the pseudo-random input sequence with the output response and thereby accumulating the desired behavior over time and pulling it above the noise floor of the measurement set-up. An off-the shelf power converter, LM27402 is used as the DUT for the experimental verification. Experimental results show that the proposed technique can estimate converter's natural frequency and Q-factor within ±2.5% and ±0.7% error margin respectively, over changes in load inductance and capacitance.

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Date Created
2015