Matching Items (16)

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Electromigration in gold interconnects

Description

Electromigration in metal interconnects is the most pernicious failure mechanism in semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs). Early electromigration investigations were primarily focused on aluminum interconnects for silicon-based ICs. An alternative metallization compatible with gallium arsenide (GaAs) was required in the development

Electromigration in metal interconnects is the most pernicious failure mechanism in semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs). Early electromigration investigations were primarily focused on aluminum interconnects for silicon-based ICs. An alternative metallization compatible with gallium arsenide (GaAs) was required in the development of high-powered radio frequency (RF) compound semiconductor devices operating at higher current densities and elevated temperatures. Gold-based metallization was implemented on GaAs devices because it uniquely forms a very low resistance ohmic contact and gold interconnects have superior electrical and thermal conductivity properties. Gold (Au) was also believed to have improved resistance to electromigration due to its higher melting temperature, yet electromigration reliability data on passivated Au interconnects is scarce and inadequate in the literature. Therefore, the objective of this research was to characterize the electromigration lifetimes of passivated Au interconnects under precisely controlled stress conditions with statistically relevant quantities to obtain accurate model parameters essential for extrapolation to normal operational conditions. This research objective was accomplished through measurement of electromigration lifetimes of large quantities of passivated electroplated Au interconnects utilizing high-resolution in-situ resistance monitoring equipment. Application of moderate accelerated stress conditions with a current density limited to 2 MA/cm2 and oven temperatures in the range of 300°C to 375°C avoided electrical overstress and severe Joule-heated temperature gradients. Temperature coefficients of resistance (TCRs) were measured to determine accurate Joule-heated Au interconnect film temperatures. A failure criterion of 50% resistance degradation was selected to prevent thermal runaway and catastrophic metal ruptures that are problematic of open circuit failure tests. Test structure design was optimized to reduce resistance variation and facilitate failure analysis. Characterization of the Au microstructure yielded a median grain size of 0.91 ìm. All Au lifetime distributions followed log-normal distributions and Black's model was found to be applicable. An activation energy of 0.80 ± 0.05 eV was measured from constant current electromigration tests at multiple temperatures. A current density exponent of 1.91 was extracted from multiple current densities at a constant temperature. Electromigration-induced void morphology along with these model parameters indicated grain boundary diffusion is dominant and the void nucleation mechanism controlled the failure time.

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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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An analytical approach to efficient circuit variability analysis in scaled CMOS design

Description

Process variations have become increasingly important for scaled technologies starting at 45nm. The increased variations are primarily due to random dopant fluctuations, line-edge roughness and oxide thickness fluctuation. These variations greatly impact all aspects of circuit performance and pose a

Process variations have become increasingly important for scaled technologies starting at 45nm. The increased variations are primarily due to random dopant fluctuations, line-edge roughness and oxide thickness fluctuation. These variations greatly impact all aspects of circuit performance and pose a grand challenge to future robust IC design. To improve robustness, efficient methodology is required that considers effect of variations in the design flow. Analyzing timing variability of complex circuits with HSPICE simulations is very time consuming. This thesis proposes an analytical model to predict variability in CMOS circuits that is quick and accurate. There are several analytical models to estimate nominal delay performance but very little work has been done to accurately model delay variability. The proposed model is comprehensive and estimates nominal delay and variability as a function of transistor width, load capacitance and transition time. First, models are developed for library gates and the accuracy of the models is verified with HSPICE simulations for 45nm and 32nm technology nodes. The difference between predicted and simulated σ/μ for the library gates is less than 1%. Next, the accuracy of the model for nominal delay is verified for larger circuits including ISCAS'85 benchmark circuits. The model predicted results are within 4% error of HSPICE simulated results and take a small fraction of the time, for 45nm technology. Delay variability is analyzed for various paths and it is observed that non-critical paths can become critical because of Vth variation. Variability on shortest paths show that rate of hold violations increase enormously with increasing Vth variation.

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Date Created
2011

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Modeling of total ionizing dose effects in advanced complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technologies

Description

The increased use of commercial complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technologies in harsh radiation environments has resulted in a new approach to radiation effects mitigation. This approach utilizes simulation to support the design of integrated circuits (ICs) to meet targeted tolerance specifications.

The increased use of commercial complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technologies in harsh radiation environments has resulted in a new approach to radiation effects mitigation. This approach utilizes simulation to support the design of integrated circuits (ICs) to meet targeted tolerance specifications. Modeling the deleterious impact of ionizing radiation on ICs fabricated in advanced CMOS technologies requires understanding and analyzing the basic mechanisms that result in buildup of radiation-induced defects in specific sensitive regions. Extensive experimental studies have demonstrated that the sensitive regions are shallow trench isolation (STI) oxides. Nevertheless, very little work has been done to model the physical mechanisms that result in the buildup of radiation-induced defects and the radiation response of devices fabricated in these technologies. A comprehensive study of the physical mechanisms contributing to the buildup of radiation-induced oxide trapped charges and the generation of interface traps in advanced CMOS devices is presented in this dissertation. The basic mechanisms contributing to the buildup of radiation-induced defects are explored using a physical model that utilizes kinetic equations that captures total ionizing dose (TID) and dose rate effects in silicon dioxide (SiO2). These mechanisms are formulated into analytical models that calculate oxide trapped charge density (Not) and interface trap density (Nit) in sensitive regions of deep-submicron devices. Experiments performed on field-oxide-field-effect-transistors (FOXFETs) and metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors permit investigating TID effects and provide a comparison for the radiation response of advanced CMOS devices. When used in conjunction with closed-form expressions for surface potential, the analytical models enable an accurate description of radiation-induced degradation of transistor electrical characteristics. In this dissertation, the incorporation of TID effects in advanced CMOS devices into surface potential based compact models is also presented. The incorporation of TID effects into surface potential based compact models is accomplished through modifications of the corresponding surface potential equations (SPE), allowing the inclusion of radiation-induced defects (i.e., Not and Nit) into the calculations of surface potential. Verification of the compact modeling approach is achieved via comparison with experimental data obtained from FOXFETs fabricated in a 90 nm low-standby power commercial bulk CMOS technology and numerical simulations of fully-depleted (FD) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) n-channel transistors.

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Date Created
2011

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Design of a modified Cherry-Hooper transimpedance amplifier with DC offset cancellation

Description

Optical receivers have many different uses covering simple infrared receivers, high speed fiber optic communication and light based instrumentation. All of them have an optical receiver that converts photons to current followed by a transimpedance amplifier to convert the current

Optical receivers have many different uses covering simple infrared receivers, high speed fiber optic communication and light based instrumentation. All of them have an optical receiver that converts photons to current followed by a transimpedance amplifier to convert the current to a useful voltage. Different systems create different requirements for each receiver. High speed digital communication require high throughput with enough sensitivity to keep the bit error rate low. Instrumentation receivers have a lower bandwidth, but higher gain and sensitivity requirements. In this thesis an optical receiver for use in instrumentation in presented. It is an entirely monolithic design with the photodiodes on the same substrate as the CMOS circuitry. This allows for it to be built into a focal-plane array, but it places some restriction on the area. It is also designed for in-situ testing and must be able to cancel any low frequency noise caused by ambient light. The area restrictions prohibit the use of a DC blocking capacitor to reject the low frequency noise. In place a servo loop was wrapped around the system to reject any DC offset. A modified Cherry-Hooper architecture was used for the transimpedance amplifier. This provides the flexibility to create an amplifier with high gain and wide bandwidth that is independent of the input capacitance. The downside is the increased complexity of the design makes stability paramount to the design. Another drawback is the high noise associated with low input impedance that decouples the input capacitance from the bandwidth. This problem is compounded by the servo loop feed which leaves the output noise of some amplifiers directly referred to the input. An in depth analysis of each circuit block's noise contribution is presented.

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Date Created
2011

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Accurate RTA-based non-quasi-static compact MOSFET model for RF and mixed-signal simulations

Description

The non-quasi-static (NQS) description of device behavior is useful in fast switching and high frequency circuit applications. Hence, it is necessary to develop a fast and accurate compact NQS model for both large-signal and small-signal simulations. A new relaxation-time-approximation based

The non-quasi-static (NQS) description of device behavior is useful in fast switching and high frequency circuit applications. Hence, it is necessary to develop a fast and accurate compact NQS model for both large-signal and small-signal simulations. A new relaxation-time-approximation based NQS MOSFET model, consistent between transient and small-signal simulations, has been developed for surface-potential-based MOSFET compact models. The new model is valid for all regions of operation and is compatible with, and at low frequencies recovers, the quasi-static (QS) description of the MOSFET. The model is implemented in two widely used circuit simulators and tested for speed and convergence. It is verified by comparison with technology computer aided design (TCAD) simulations and experimental data, and by application of a recently developed benchmark test for NQS MOSFET models. In addition, a new and simple technique to characterize NQS and gate resistance, Rgate, MOS model parameters from measured data has been presented. In the process of experimental model verification, the effects of bulk resistance on MOSFET characteristics is investigated both theoretically and experimentally to separate it from the NQS effects.

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Date Created
2012

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A structured design methodology for high performance VLSI arrays

Description

The geometric growth in the integrated circuit technology due to transistor scaling also with system-on-chip design strategy, the complexity of the integrated circuit has increased manifold. Short time to market with high reliability and performance is one of the most

The geometric growth in the integrated circuit technology due to transistor scaling also with system-on-chip design strategy, the complexity of the integrated circuit has increased manifold. Short time to market with high reliability and performance is one of the most competitive challenges. Both custom and ASIC design methodologies have evolved over the time to cope with this but the high manual labor in custom and statistic design in ASIC are still causes of concern. This work proposes a new circuit design strategy that focuses mostly on arrayed structures like TLB, RF, Cache, IPCAM etc. that reduces the manual effort to a great extent and also makes the design regular, repetitive still achieving high performance. The method proposes making the complete design custom schematic but using the standard cells. This requires adding some custom cells to the already exhaustive library to optimize the design for performance. Once schematic is finalized, the designer places these standard cells in a spreadsheet, placing closely the cells in the critical paths. A Perl script then generates Cadence Encounter compatible placement file. The design is then routed in Encounter. Since designer is the best judge of the circuit architecture, placement by the designer will allow achieve most optimal design. Several designs like IPCAM, issue logic, TLB, RF and Cache designs were carried out and the performance were compared against the fully custom and ASIC flow. The TLB, RF and Cache were the part of the HEMES microprocessor.

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Date Created
2012

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A 500MSPs bipolar SiGe track and hold circuit with high SFDR

Description

The front end of almost all ADCs consists of a Sample and Hold Circuit in order to make sure a constant analog value is digitized at the end of ADC. The design of Track and Hold Circuit (THA) mainly focuses

The front end of almost all ADCs consists of a Sample and Hold Circuit in order to make sure a constant analog value is digitized at the end of ADC. The design of Track and Hold Circuit (THA) mainly focuses on following parameters: Input frequency, Sampling frequency, dynamic Range, hold pedestal, feed through error. This thesis will discuss the importance of these parameters of a THA to the ADCs and commonly used architectures of THA. A new architecture with SiGe HBT transistors in BiCMOS 130 nm technology is presented here. The proposed topology without complicated circuitry achieves high Spurious Free Dynamic Range(SFDR) and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).These are important figure of merits for any THA which gives a measure of non-linearity of the circuit. The proposed topology is implemented in IBM8HP 130 nm BiCMOS process combines typical emitter follower switch in bipolar THAs and output steering technique proposed in the previous work. With these techniques and the cascode transistor in the input which is used to isolate the switch from the input during the hold mode, better results have been achieved. The THA is designed to work with maximum input frequency of 250 MHz at sampling frequency of 500 MHz with input currents not more than 5mA achieving an SFDR of 78.49 dB. Simulation and results are presented, illustrating the advantages and trade-offs of the proposed topology.

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Date Created
2012

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Modeling and simulation of variations in nano-CMOS design

Description

CMOS technology is expected to enter the 10nm regime for future integrated circuits (IC). Such aggressive scaling leads to vastly increased variability, posing a grand challenge to robust IC design. Variations in CMOS are often divided into two types: intrinsic

CMOS technology is expected to enter the 10nm regime for future integrated circuits (IC). Such aggressive scaling leads to vastly increased variability, posing a grand challenge to robust IC design. Variations in CMOS are often divided into two types: intrinsic variations and process-induced variations. Intrinsic variations are limited by fundamental physics. They are inherent to CMOS structure, considered as one of the ultimate barriers to the continual scaling of CMOS devices. In this work the three primary intrinsic variations sources are studied, including random dopant fluctuation (RDF), line-edge roughness (LER) and oxide thickness fluctuation (OTF). The research is focused on the modeling and simulation of those variations and their scaling trends. Besides the three variations, a time dependent variation source, Random Telegraph Noise (RTN) is also studied. Different from the other three variations, RTN does not contribute much to the total variation amount, but aggregate the worst case of Vth variations in CMOS. In this work a TCAD based simulation study on RTN is presented, and a new SPICE based simulation method for RTN is proposed for time domain circuit analysis. Process-induced variations arise from the imperfection in silicon fabrication, and vary from foundries to foundries. In this work the layout dependent Vth shift due to Rapid-Thermal Annealing (RTA) are investigated. In this work, we develop joint thermal/TCAD simulation and compact modeling tools to analyze performance variability under various layout pattern densities and RTA conditions. Moreover, we propose a suite of compact models that bridge the underlying RTA process with device parameter change for efficient design optimization.

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Date Created
2011

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On-chip transformer design and modeling for fully integrated isolated DC/DC converters

Description

Isolated DC/DC converters are used to provide electrical isolation between two supply domain systems. A fully integrated isolated DC/DC converter having no board-level components and fabricated using standard integrated circuits (IC) process is highly desirable in order to increase the

Isolated DC/DC converters are used to provide electrical isolation between two supply domain systems. A fully integrated isolated DC/DC converter having no board-level components and fabricated using standard integrated circuits (IC) process is highly desirable in order to increase the system reliability and reduce costs. The isolation between the low-voltage side and high-voltage side of the converter is realized by a transformer that transfers energy while blocking the DC loop. The resonant mode power oscillator is used to enable high efficiency power transfer. The on-chip transformer is expected to have high coil inductance, high quality factors and high coupling coefficient to reduce the loss in the oscillation. The performance of a transformer is highly dependent on the vertical structure, horizontal geometry and other indispensable structures that make it compatible with the IC process such as metal fills and patterned ground shield (PGS). With the help of three-dimensional (3-D) electro-magnetic (EM) simulation software, the 3-D transformer model is simulated and the simulation result is got with high accuracy.

In this thesis an on-chip transformer for a fully integrated DC/DC converter using standard IC process is developed. Different types of transformers are modeled and simulated in HFSS. The performances are compared to select the optimum design. The effects of the additional structures including PGS and metal fills are also simulated. The transformer is tested with a network analyzer and the testing results show a good consistency with the simulation results when taking the chip traces, printed circuit board (PCB) traces, bond wires and SMA connectors into account.

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Date Created
2014