Matching Items (4)

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Monitoring for Reliable and Secure Power Management Integrated Circuits via Built-In Self-Test

Description

Power management circuits are employed in most electronic integrated systems, including applications for automotive, IoT, and smart wearables. Oftentimes, these power management circuits become a single point of system failure,

Power management circuits are employed in most electronic integrated systems, including applications for automotive, IoT, and smart wearables. Oftentimes, these power management circuits become a single point of system failure, and since they are present in most modern electronic devices, they become a target for hardware security attacks. Digital circuits are typically more prone to security attacks compared to analog circuits, but malfunctions in digital circuitry can affect the analog performance/parameters of power management circuits. This research studies the effect that these hacks will have on the analog performance of power circuits, specifically linear and switching power regulators/converters. Apart from security attacks, these circuits suffer from performance degradations due to temperature, aging, and load stress. Power management circuits usually consist of regulators or converters that regulate the load’s voltage supply by employing a feedback loop, and the stability of the feedback loop is a critical parameter in the system design. Oftentimes, the passive components employed in these circuits shift in value over varying conditions and may cause instability within the power converter. Therefore, variations in the passive components, as well as malicious hardware security attacks, can degrade regulator performance and affect the system’s stability. The traditional ways of detecting phase margin, which indicates system stability, employ techniques that require the converter to be in open loop, and hence can’t be used while the system is deployed in-the-field under normal operation. Aging of components and security attacks may occur after the power management systems have completed post-production test and have been deployed, and they may not cause catastrophic failure of the system, hence making them difficult to detect. These two issues of component variations and security attacks can be detected during normal operation over the product lifetime, if the frequency response of the power converter can be monitored in-situ and in-field. This work presents a method to monitor the phase margin (stability) of a power converter without affecting its normal mode of operation by injecting a white noise/ pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS). Furthermore, this work investigates the analog performance parameters, including phase margin, that are affected by various digital hacks on the control circuitry associated with power converters. A case study of potential hardware attacks is completed for a linear low-dropout regulator (LDO).

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Any-cap low dropout voltage regulator

Description

Power management plays a very important role in the current electronics industry. Battery powered and handheld applications require novel power management techniques to extend the battery life. Most systems have

Power management plays a very important role in the current electronics industry. Battery powered and handheld applications require novel power management techniques to extend the battery life. Most systems have multiple voltage regulators to provide power sources to the different circuit blocks and/or sub-systems. Some of these voltage regulators are low dropout regulators (LDOs) which typically require output capacitors in the range of 1's to 10's of µF. The necessity of output capacitors occupies valuable board space and can add additional integrated circuit (IC) pin count. A high IC pin count can restrict LDOs for system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. The presented research gives the user an option with regard to the external capacitor; the output capacitor can range from 0 - 1µF for a stable response. In general, the larger the output capacitor, the better the transient response. Because the output capacitor requirement is such a wide range, the LDO presented here is ideal for any application, whether it be for a SoC solution or stand-alone LDO that desires a filtering capacitor for optimal transient performance. The LDO architecture and compensation scheme provide a stable output response from 1mA to 200mA with output capacitors in the range of 0 - 1µF. A 2.5V, 200mA any-cap LDO was fabricated in a proprietary 1.5µm BiCMOS process, consuming 200µA of ground pin current (at 1mA load) with a dropout voltage of 250mV. Experimental results show that the proposed any-cap LDO exceeds transient performance and output capacitor requirements compared to previously published work. The architecture also has excellent line and load regulation and less sensitive to process variation. Therefore, the presented any-cap LDO is ideal for any application with a maximum supply rail of 5V.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Mixed-mode adaptive ripple canceller for switching regulators

Description

State of art modern System-On-Chip architectures often require very low noise supplies without overhead on high efficiencies. Low noise supplies are especially important in noise sensitive analog blocks such as

State of art modern System-On-Chip architectures often require very low noise supplies without overhead on high efficiencies. Low noise supplies are especially important in noise sensitive analog blocks such as high precision Analog-to-Digital Converters, Phase Locked Loops etc., and analog signal processing blocks. Switching regulators, while providing high efficiency power conversion suffer from inherent ripple on their output. A typical solution for high efficiency low noise supply is to cascade switching regulators with Low Dropout linear regulators (LDO) which generate inherently quiet supplies. The switching frequencies of switching regulators keep scaling to higher values in order to reduce the sizes of the passive inductor and capacitors at the output of switching regulators. This poses a challenge for existing solutions of switching regulators followed by LDO since the Power Supply Rejection (PSR) of LDOs are band-limited. In order to achieve high PSR over a wideband, the penalty would be to increase the quiescent power consumed to increase the bandwidth of the LDO and increase in solution area of the LDO. Hence, an alternative to the existing approach is required which improves the ripple cancellation at the output of switching regulator while overcoming the deficiencies of the LDO.

This research focuses on developing an innovative technique to cancel the ripple at the output of switching regulator which is scalable across a wide range of switching frequencies. The proposed technique consists of a primary ripple canceller and an auxiliary ripple canceller, both of which facilitate in the generation of a quiet supply and help to attenuate the ripple at the output of buck converter by over 22dB. These techniques can be applied to any DC-DC converter and are scalable across frequency, load current, output voltage as compared to LDO without significant overhead on efficiency or area. The proposed technique also presents a fully integrated solution without the need of additional off-chip components which, considering the push for full-integration of Power Management Integrated Circuits, is a big advantage over using LDOs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Optimizing the design of partially and fully depleted MESFETs for low dropout regulators

Description

The constant scaling of supply voltages in state-of-the-art CMOS processes has led to severe limitations for many analog circuit applications. Some CMOS processes have addressed this issue by adding high

The constant scaling of supply voltages in state-of-the-art CMOS processes has led to severe limitations for many analog circuit applications. Some CMOS processes have addressed this issue by adding high voltage MOSFETs to their process. Although it can be a completely viable solution, it usually requires a changing of the process flow or adding additional steps, which in turn, leads to an increase in fabrication costs. Si-MESFETs (silicon-metal-semiconductor-field-effect-transistors) from Arizona State University (ASU) on the other hand, have an inherent high voltage capability and can be added to any silicon-on-insulator (SOI) or silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) CMOS process free of cost. This has been proved at five different commercial foundries on technologies ranging from 0.5 to 0.15 μm. Another critical issue facing CMOS processes on insulated substrates is the scaling of the thin silicon channel. Consequently, the future direction of SOI/SOS CMOS transistors may trend away from partially depleted (PD) transistors and towards fully depleted (FD) devices. FD-CMOS are already being implemented in multiple applications due to their very low power capability. Since the FD-CMOS market only figures to grow, it is appropriate that MESFETs also be developed for these processes. The beginning of this thesis will focus on the device aspects of both PD and FD-MESFETs including their layout structure, DC and RF characteristics, and breakdown voltage. The second half will then shift the focus towards implementing both types of MESFETs in an analog circuit application. Aside from their high breakdown ability, MESFETs also feature depletion mode operation, easy to adjust but well controlled threshold voltages, and fT's up to 45 GHz. Those unique characteristics can allow certain designs that were previously difficult to implement or prohibitively expensive using conventional technologies to now be achieved. One such application which benefits is low dropout regulators (LDO). By utilizing an n-channel MESFET as the pass transistor, a LDO featuring very low dropout voltage, fast transient response, and stable operation can be achieved without an external capacitance. With the focus of this thesis being MESFET based LDOs, the device discussion will be mostly tailored towards optimally designing MESFETs for this particular application.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010