Matching Items (15)

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Biosensors and CMOS interface circuits

Description

Analysing and measuring of biological or biochemical processes are of utmost importance for medical, biological and biotechnological applications. Point of care diagnostic system, composing of biosensors, have promising applications for

Analysing and measuring of biological or biochemical processes are of utmost importance for medical, biological and biotechnological applications. Point of care diagnostic system, composing of biosensors, have promising applications for providing cheap, accurate and portable diagnosis. Owing to these expanding medical applications and advances made by semiconductor industry biosensors have seen a tremendous growth in the past few decades. Also emergence of microfluidics and non-invasive biosensing applications are other marker propellers. Analyzing biological signals using transducers is difficult due to the challenges in interfacing an electronic system to the biological environment. Detection limit, detection time, dynamic range, specificity to the analyte, sensitivity and reliability of these devices are some of the challenges in developing and integrating these devices. Significant amount of research in the field of biosensors has been focused on improving the design, fabrication process and their integration with microfluidics to address these challenges. This work presents new techniques, design and systems to improve the interface between the electronic system and the biological environment. This dissertation uses CMOS circuit design to improve the reliability of these devices. Also this work addresses the challenges in designing the electronic system used for processing the output of the transducer, which converts biological signal into electronic signal.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Radiation effects measurement test structure using GF 32-nm SOI process

Description

This thesis describes the design of a Single Event Transient (SET) duration measurement test-structure on the Global Foundries (previously IBM) 32-nm silicon-on insulator (SOI) process. The test structure is designed

This thesis describes the design of a Single Event Transient (SET) duration measurement test-structure on the Global Foundries (previously IBM) 32-nm silicon-on insulator (SOI) process. The test structure is designed for portability and allows quick design and implementation on a new process node. Such a test structure is critical in analyzing the effects of radiation on complementary metal oxide semi-conductor (CMOS) circuits. The focus of this thesis is the change in pulse width during propagation of SET pulse and build a test structure to measure the duration of a SET pulse generated in real time. This test structure can estimate the SET pulse duration with 10ps resolution. It receives the input SET propagated through a SET capture structure made using a chain of combinational gates. The impact of propagation of the SET in a >200 deep collection structure is studied. A novel methodology of deploying Thick Gate TID structure is proposed and analyzed to build multi-stage chain of combinational gates. Upon using long chain of combinational gates, the most critical issue of pulse width broadening and shortening is analyzed across critical process corners. The impact of using regular standard cells on pulse width modification is compared with NMOS and/or PMOS skewed gates for the chain of combinational gates. A possible resolution to pulse width change is demonstrated using circuit and layout design of chain of inverters, two and three inputs NOR gates. The SET capture circuit is also tested in simulation by introducing a glitch signal that mimics an individual ion strike that could lead to perturbation in SET propagation. Design techniques and skewed gates are deployed to dampen the glitch that occurs under the effect of radiation. Simulation results, layout structures of SET capture circuit and chain of combinational gates are presented.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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CMOS integrated power amplifiers for RF reconfigurable and digital transmitters

Description

This dissertation focuses on three different efficiency enhancement methods that are applicable to handset applications. These proposed designs are based on three critical requirements for handset application: 1) Small form

This dissertation focuses on three different efficiency enhancement methods that are applicable to handset applications. These proposed designs are based on three critical requirements for handset application: 1) Small form factor, 2) CMOS compatibility and 3) high power handling. The three presented methodologies are listed below:

1) A transformer-based power combiner architecture for out-phasing transmitters

2) A current steering DAC-based average power tracking circuit for on-chip power amplifiers (PA)

3) A CMOS-based driver stage for GaN-based switched-mode power amplifiers applicable to fully digital transmitters

This thesis highlights the trends in wireless handsets, the motivates the need for fully-integrated CMOS power amplifier solutions and presents the three novel techniques for reconfigurable and digital CMOS-based PAs. Chapter 3, presents the transformer-based power combiner for out-phasing transmitters. The simulation results reveal that this technique is able to shrink the power combiner area, which is one of the largest parts of the transmitter, by about 50% and as a result, enhances the output power density by 3dB.

The average power tracking technique (APT) integrated with an on-chip CMOS-based power amplifier is explained in Chapter 4. This system is able to achieve up to 32dBm saturated output power with a linear power gain of 20dB in a 45nm CMOS SOI process. The maximum efficiency improvement is about ∆η=15% compared to the same PA without APT. Measurement results show that the proposed method is able to amplify an enhanced-EDGE modulated input signal with a data rate of 70.83kb/sec and generate more than 27dBm of average output power with EVM<5%.

Although small form factor, high battery lifetime, and high volume integration motivate the need for fully digital CMOS transmitters, the output power generated by this type of transmitter is not high enough to satisfy the communication standards. As a result, compound materials such as GaN or GaAs are usually being used in handset applications to increase the output power. Chapter 5 focuses on the analysis and design of two CMOS based driver architectures (cascode and house of cards) for driving a GaN power amplifier. The presented results show that the drivers are able to generate ∆Vout=5V, which is required by the compound transistor, and operate up to 2GHz. Since the CMOS driver is expected to drive an off-chip capacitive load, the interface components, such as bond wires, and decoupling and pad capacitors, play a critical role in the output transient response. Therefore, extensive analysis and simulation results have been done on the interface circuits to investigate their effects on RF transmitter performance. The presented results show that the maximum operating frequency when the driver is connected to a 4pF capacitive load is about 2GHz, which is perfectly matched with the reported values in prior literature.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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High speed camera chip

Description

The market for high speed camera chips, or image sensors, has experienced rapid growth over the past decades owing to its broad application space in security, biomedical equipment, and mobile

The market for high speed camera chips, or image sensors, has experienced rapid growth over the past decades owing to its broad application space in security, biomedical equipment, and mobile devices. CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology has significantly improved the performance of the high speed camera chip by enabling the monolithic integration of pixel circuits and on-chip analog-to-digital conversion. However, for low light intensity applications, many CMOS image sensors have a sub-optimum dynamic range, particularly in high speed operation. Thus the requirements for a sensor to have a high frame rate and high fill factor is attracting more attention. Another drawback for the high speed camera chip is its high power demands due to its high operating frequency. Therefore, a CMOS image sensor with high frame rate, high fill factor, high voltage range and low power is difficult to realize.

This thesis presents the design of pixel circuit, the pixel array and column readout chain for a high speed camera chip. An integrated PN (positive-negative) junction photodiode and an accompanying ten transistor pixel circuit are implemented using a 0.18 µm CMOS technology. Multiple methods are applied to minimize the subthreshold currents, which is critical for low light detection. A layout sharing technique is used to increase the fill factor to 64.63%. Four programmable gain amplifiers (PGAs) and 10-bit pipeline analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are added to complete on-chip analog to digital conversion. The simulation results of extracted circuit indicate ENOB (effective number of bits) is greater than 8 bits with FoM (figures of merit) =0.789. The minimum detectable voltage level is determined to be 470μV based on noise analysis. The total power consumption of PGA and ADC is 8.2mW for each conversion. The whole camera chip reaches 10508 frames per second (fps) at full resolution with 3.1mm x 3.4mm area.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Novel rail clamp architectures and their systematic design

Description

Rail clamp circuits are widely used for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in semiconductor products today. A step-by-step design procedure for the traditional RC and single-inverter-based rail clamp circuit and the

Rail clamp circuits are widely used for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in semiconductor products today. A step-by-step design procedure for the traditional RC and single-inverter-based rail clamp circuit and the design, simulation, implementation, and operation of two novel rail clamp circuits are described for use in the ESD protection of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits. The step-by-step design procedure for the traditional circuit is technology-node independent, can be fully automated, and aims to achieve a minimal area design that meets specified leakage and ESD specifications under all valid process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) conditions. The first novel rail clamp circuit presented employs a comparator inside the traditional circuit to reduce the value of the time constant needed. The second circuit uses a dynamic time constant approach in which the value of the time constant is dynamically adjusted after the clamp is triggered. Important metrics for the two new circuits such as ESD performance, latch-on immunity, clamp recovery time, supply noise immunity, fastest power-on time supported, and area are evaluated over an industry-standard PVT space using SPICE simulations and measurements on a fabricated 40 nm test chip.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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High speed CMOS image sensor

Description

High speed image sensors are used as a diagnostic tool to analyze high speed processes for industrial, automotive, defense and biomedical application. The high fame rate of these sensors, capture

High speed image sensors are used as a diagnostic tool to analyze high speed processes for industrial, automotive, defense and biomedical application. The high fame rate of these sensors, capture a series of images that enables the viewer to understand and analyze the high speed phenomena. However, the pixel readout circuits designed for these sensors with a high frame rate (100fps to 1 Mfps) have a very low fill factor which are less than 58%. For high speed operation, the exposure time is less and (or) the light intensity incident on the image sensor is less. This makes it difficult for the sensor to detect faint light signals and gives a lower limit on the signal levels being detected by the sensor. Moreover, the leakage paths in the pixel readout circuit also sets a limit on the signal level being detected. Therefore, the fill factor of the pixel should be maximized and the leakage currents in the readout circuits should be minimized.

This thesis work presents the design of the pixel readout circuit suitable for high speed and low light imaging application. The circuit is an improvement to the 6T pixel readout architecture. The designed readout circuit minimizes the leakage currents in the circuit and detects light producing a signal level of 350µV at the cathode of the photodiode. A novel layout technique is used for the pixel, which improves the fill factor of the pixel to 64.625%. The read out circuit designed is an integral part of high speed image sensor, which is fabricated using a 0.18 µm CMOS technology with the die size of 3.1mm x 3.4 mm, the pixel size of 20µm x 20 µm, number of pixel of 96 x 96 and four 10-bit pipelined ADC’s. The image sensor achieves a high frame rate of 10508 fps and readout speed of 96 M pixels / sec.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Integrated CMOS-based low power electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for biomedical applications

Description

This thesis dissertation presents design of portable low power Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) system which can be used for biomedical applications such as tear diagnosis, blood diagnosis, or any other

This thesis dissertation presents design of portable low power Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) system which can be used for biomedical applications such as tear diagnosis, blood diagnosis, or any other body-fluid diagnosis. Two design methodologies are explained in this dissertation (a) a discrete component-based portable low-power EIS system and (b) an integrated CMOS-based portable low-power EIS system. Both EIS systems were tested in a laboratory environment and the characterization results are compared. The advantages and disadvantages of the integrated EIS system relative to the discrete component-based EIS system are presented including experimental data. The specifications of both EIS systems are compared with commercially available non-portable EIS workstations. These designed EIS systems are handheld and very low-cost relative to the currently available commercial EIS workstations.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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New model for simulating impact of negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) in CMOS Circuits

Description

Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI) is commonly seen in p-channel transistors under negative gate voltages at an elevated temperature. The interface traps, oxide traps and NBTI mechanisms are discussed and

Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI) is commonly seen in p-channel transistors under negative gate voltages at an elevated temperature. The interface traps, oxide traps and NBTI mechanisms are discussed and their effect on circuit degradation and results are discussed. This thesis focuses on developing a model for simulating impact of NBTI effects at circuit level. The model mimics the effects of degradation caused by the defects.

The NBTI model developed in this work is validated and sanity checked by using the simulation data from silvaco and gives excellent results. Furthermore the susceptibility of CMOS circuits such as the CMOS inverter, and a ring oscillator to NBTI is investigated. The results show that the oscillation frequency of a ring oscillator decreases and the SET pulse broadens with the NBTI.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Modeling and simulation tools for aging effects in scaled CMOS design

Description

The aging process due to Bias Temperature Instability (both NBTI and PBTI) and Channel Hot Carrier (CHC) is a key limiting factor of circuit lifetime in CMOS design. Threshold voltage

The aging process due to Bias Temperature Instability (both NBTI and PBTI) and Channel Hot Carrier (CHC) is a key limiting factor of circuit lifetime in CMOS design. Threshold voltage shift due to BTI is a strong function of stress voltage and temperature complicating stress and recovery prediction. This poses a unique challenge for long-term aging prediction for wide range of stress patterns. Traditional approaches usually resort to an average stress waveform to simplify the lifetime prediction. They are efficient, but fail to capture circuit operation, especially under dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) or in analog/mixed signal designs where the stress waveform is much more random. This work presents a suite of modelling solutions for BTI that enable aging simulation under all possible stress conditions. Key features of this work are compact models to predict BTI aging based on Reaction-Diffusion theory when the stress voltage is varying. The results to both reaction-diffusion (RD) and trapping-detrapping (TD) mechanisms are presented to cover underlying physics. Silicon validation of these models is performed at 28nm, 45nm and 65nm technology nodes, at both device and circuit levels. Efficient simulation leveraging the BTI models under DVS and random input waveform is applied to both digital and analog representative circuits such as ring oscillators and LNA. Both physical mechanisms are combined into a unified model which improves prediction accuracy at 45nm and 65nm nodes. Critical failure condition is also illustrated based on NBTI and PBTI at 28nm. A comprehensive picture for duty cycle shift is shown. DC stress under clock gating schemes results in monotonic shift in duty cycle which an AC stress causes duty cycle to converge close to 50% value. Proposed work provides a general and comprehensive solution to aging analysis under random stress patterns under BTI.

Channel hot carrier (CHC) is another dominant degradation mechanism which affects analog and mixed signal circuits (AMS) as transistor operates continuously in saturation condition. New model is proposed to account for e-e scattering in advanced technology nodes due to high gate electric field. The model is validated with 28nm and 65nm thick oxide data for different stress voltages. It demonstrates shift in worst case CHC condition to Vgs=Vds from Vgs=0.5Vds. A novel iteration based aging simulation framework for AMS designs is proposed which eliminates limitation for conventional reliability tools. This approach helps us identify a unique positive feedback mechanism termed as Bias Runaway. Bias runaway, is rapid increase of the bias voltage in AMS circuits which occurs when the feedback between the bias current and the effect of channel hot carrier turns into positive. The degradation of CHC is a gradual process but under specific circumstances, the degradation rate can be dramatically accelerated. Such a catastrophic phenomenon is highly sensitive to the initial operation condition, as well as transistor gate length. Based on 65nm silicon data, our work investigates the critical condition that triggers bias runaway, and the impact of gate length tuning. We develop new compact models as well as the simulation methodology for circuit diagnosis, and propose design solutions and the trade-offs to avoid bias runaway, which is vitally important to reliable AMS designs.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Reliability issues and design solutions in advanced CMOS design

Description

Over decades, scientists have been scaling devices to increasingly smaller feature sizes for ever better performance of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology to meet requirements on speed, complexity, circuit density,

Over decades, scientists have been scaling devices to increasingly smaller feature sizes for ever better performance of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology to meet requirements on speed, complexity, circuit density, power consumption and ultimately cost required by many advanced applications. However, going to these ultra-scaled CMOS devices also brings some drawbacks. Aging due to bias-temperature-instability (BTI) and Hot carrier injection (HCI) is the dominant cause of functional failure in large scale logic circuits. The aging phenomena, on top of process variations, translate into complexity and reduced design margin for circuits. Such issues call for “Design for Reliability”. In order to increase the overall design efficiency, it is important to (i) study the impact of aging on circuit level along with the transistor level understanding (ii) calibrate the theoretical findings with measurement data (iii) implementing tools that analyze the impact of BTI and HCI reliability on circuit timing into VLSI design process at each stage. In this work, post silicon measurements of a 28nm HK-MG technology are done to study the effect of aging on Frequency Degradation of digital circuits. A novel voltage controlled ring oscillator (VCO) structure, developed by NIMO research group is used to determine the effect of aging mechanisms like NBTI, PBTI and SILC on circuit parameters. Accelerated aging mechanism is proposed to avoid the time consuming measurement process and extrapolation of data to the end of life thus instead of predicting the circuit behavior, one can measure it, within a short period of time. Finally, to bridge the gap between device level models and circuit level aging analysis, a System Level Reliability Analysis Flow (SyRA) developed by NIMO group, is implemented for a TSMC 65nm industrial level design to achieve one-step reliability prediction for digital design.

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Date Created
  • 2016