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Design of a twelve bit, four hundred mega-samples-per-second, interpolating dual channel digital to analog converter featuring digital modulation

Description

Digital to analog converters (DACs) find widespread use in communications equipment. Most commercially available DAC's which are intended to be used in transmitter applications come in a dual configuration for carrying the in phase (I) and quadrature (Q) data and

Digital to analog converters (DACs) find widespread use in communications equipment. Most commercially available DAC's which are intended to be used in transmitter applications come in a dual configuration for carrying the in phase (I) and quadrature (Q) data and feature on chip digital mixing. Digital mixing offers many benefits concerning I and Q matching but has one major drawback; the update rate of the DAC must be higher than the intermediate frequency (IF) which is most commonly a factor of 4. This drawback motivates the need for interpolation so that a low update rate can be used for components preceding the DACs. In this thesis the design of an interpolating DAC integrated circuit (IC) to be used in a transmitter application for generating a 100MHz IF is presented. Many of the transistor level implementations are provided. The tradeoffs in the design are analyzed and various options are discussed. This thesis provides a basic foundation for designing an IC of this nature and will give the reader insight into potential areas of further research. At the time of this writing the chip is in fabrication therefore this document does not contain test results.

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2013

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Design of a digitally controlled pulse width modulator for DC-DC converter applications

Description

Synchronous buck converters have become the obvious choice of design for high efficiency voltage down-conversion applications and find wide scale usage in today's IC industry. The use of digital control in synchronous buck converters is becoming increasingly popular because of

Synchronous buck converters have become the obvious choice of design for high efficiency voltage down-conversion applications and find wide scale usage in today's IC industry. The use of digital control in synchronous buck converters is becoming increasingly popular because of its associated advantages over traditional analog counterparts in terms of design flexibility, reduced use of off-chip components, and better programmability to enable advanced controls. They also demonstrate better immunity to noise, enhances tolerance to the process, voltage and temperature (PVT) variations, low chip area and as a result low cost. It enables processing in digital domain requiring a need of analog-digital interfacing circuit viz. Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A Digital to Pulse Width Modulator (DPWM) acts as time domain DAC required in the control loop to modulate the ON time of the Power-MOSFETs. The accuracy and efficiency of the DPWM creates the upper limit to the steady state voltage ripple of the DC - DC converter and efficiency in low load conditions. This thesis discusses the prevalent architectures for DPWM in switched mode DC - DC converters. The design of a Hybrid DPWM is presented. The DPWM is 9-bit accurate and is targeted for a Synchronous Buck Converter with a switching frequency of 1.0 MHz. The design supports low power mode(s) for the buck converter in the Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM) mode as well as other fail-safe features. The design implementation is digital centric making it robust across PVT variations and portable to lower technology nodes. Key target of the design is to reduce design time. The design is tested across large Process (+/- 3σ), Voltage (1.8V +/- 10%) and Temperature (-55.0 °C to 125 °C) and is in the process of tape-out.

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2013

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Digitally controlled average current mode buck converter

Description

During the past decade, different kinds of fancy functions are developed in portable electronic devices. This trend triggers the research of how to enhance battery lifetime to meet the requirement of fast growing demand of power in portable devices. DC-DC

During the past decade, different kinds of fancy functions are developed in portable electronic devices. This trend triggers the research of how to enhance battery lifetime to meet the requirement of fast growing demand of power in portable devices. DC-DC converter is the connection configuration between the battery and the functional circuitry. A good design of DC-DC converter will maximize the power efficiency and stabilize the power supply of following stages. As the representative of the DC-DC converter, Buck converter, which is a step down DC-DC converter that the output voltage level is smaller than the input voltage level, is the best-fit sample to start with. Digital control for DC-DC converters reduces noise sensitivity and enhances process, voltage and temperature (PVT) tolerance compared with analog control method. Also it will reduce the chip area and cost correspondingly. In battery-friendly perspective, current mode control has its advantage in over-current protection and parallel current sharing, which can form different structures to extend battery lifetime. In the thesis, the method to implement digitally average current mode control is introduced; including the FPGA based digital controller design flow. Based on the behavioral model of the close loop Buck converter with digital current control, the first FPGA based average current mode controller is burned into board and tested. With the analysis, the design metric of average current mode control is provided in the study. This will be the guideline of the parallel structure of future research.

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2011

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Photovoltaic sub-module integrated converter analysis

Description

With the rapid expansion of the photovoltaic industry over the last decade, there has been a huge demand in the PV installations in the residential sector. This thesis focuses on the analysis and implementation of a dc-dc boost converter at

With the rapid expansion of the photovoltaic industry over the last decade, there has been a huge demand in the PV installations in the residential sector. This thesis focuses on the analysis and implementation of a dc-dc boost converter at photovoltaic sub-module level. The thesis also analyses the various topologies like switched capacitors and extended duty ratio which can be practically implemented in the photovoltaic panels. The results obtained in this work have concentrated on the use of novel strategies to substitute the use of central dc-dc converter used in PV module string connection. The implementation of distributed MPPT at the PV sub-module level is also an integral part of this thesis. Using extensive PLECS simulations, this thesis came to the conclusion that with the design of a proper compensation at the dc interconnection of a series or parallel PV Module Integrated Converter string, the central dc-dc converter can be substituted. The dc-ac interconnection voltage remains regulated at all irradiance level even without a dc-dc central converter at the string end. The foundation work for the hardware implementation has also been carried out. Design of parameters for future hardware implementation has also been presented in detail in this thesis.

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2012

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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

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Extending efficiency in a DC/DC converter with automatic mode switching from PFM to PWM

Description

Switch mode DC/DC converters are suited for battery powered applications, due to their high efficiency, which help in conserving the battery lifetime. Fixed Frequency PWM based converters, which are generally used for these applications offer good voltage regulation, low ripple

Switch mode DC/DC converters are suited for battery powered applications, due to their high efficiency, which help in conserving the battery lifetime. Fixed Frequency PWM based converters, which are generally used for these applications offer good voltage regulation, low ripple and excellent efficiency at high load currents. However at light load currents, fixed frequency PWM converters suffer from poor efficiencies The PFM control offers higher efficiency at light loads at the cost of a higher ripple. The PWM has a poor efficiency at light loads but good voltage ripple characteristics, due to a high switching frequency. To get the best of both control modes, both loops are used together with the control switched from one loop to another based on the load current. Such architectures are referred to as hybrid converters. While transition from PFM to PWM loop can be made by estimating the average load current, transition from PFM to PWM requires voltage or peak current sensing. This theses implements a hysteretic PFM solution for a synchronous buck converter with external MOSFET's, to achieve efficiencies of about 80% at light loads. As the PFM loop operates independently of the PWM loop, a transition circuit for automatically transitioning from PFM to PWM is implemented. The transition circuit is implemented digitally without needing any external voltage or current sensing circuit.

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2014

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Design and calibration of a 12-bit current-steering DAC using data-interleaving

Description

High speed current-steering DACs with high linearity are needed in today's applications such as wired and wireless communications, instrumentation, radar, and other direct digital synthesis (DDS) applications. However, a trade-off exists between the speed and resolution of Nyquist rate

High speed current-steering DACs with high linearity are needed in today's applications such as wired and wireless communications, instrumentation, radar, and other direct digital synthesis (DDS) applications. However, a trade-off exists between the speed and resolution of Nyquist rate current-steering DACs. As the resolution increases, more transistor area is required to meet matching requirements for optimal linearity and thus, the overall speed of the DAC is limited.

In this thesis work, a 12-bit current-steering DAC was designed with current sources scaled below the required matching size to decrease the area and increase the overall speed of the DAC. By scaling the current sources, however, errors due to random mismatch between current sources will arise and additional calibration hardware is necessary to ensure 12-bit linearity. This work presents how to implement a self-calibration DAC that works to fix amplitude errors while maintaining a lower overall area. Additionally, the DAC designed in this thesis investigates the implementation feasibility of a data-interleaved architecture. Data interleaving can increase the total bandwidth of the DACs by 2 with an increase in SQNR by an additional 3 dB.

The final results show that the calibration method can effectively improve the linearity of the DAC. The DAC is able to run up to 400 MSPS frequencies with a 75 dB SFDR performance and above 87 dB SFDR performance at update rates of 200 MSPS.

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2014

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A low power digital controller for DC-DC converter applications with integrated PFM mode detector

Description

Switching Converters (SC) are an excellent choice for hand held devices due to their high power conversion efficiency. However, they suffer from two major drawbacks. The first drawback is that their dynamic response is sensitive to variations in inductor (L)

Switching Converters (SC) are an excellent choice for hand held devices due to their high power conversion efficiency. However, they suffer from two major drawbacks. The first drawback is that their dynamic response is sensitive to variations in inductor (L) and capacitor (C) values. A cost effective solution is implemented by designing a programmable digital controller. Despite variations in L and C values, the target dynamic response can be achieved by computing and programming the filter coefficients for a particular L and C. Besides, digital controllers have higher immunity to environmental changes such as temperature and aging of components. The second drawback of SCs is their poor efficiency during low load conditions if operated in Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) mode. However, if operated in Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM) mode, better efficiency numbers can be achieved. A mostly-digital way of detecting PFM mode is implemented. Besides, a slow serial interface to program the chip, and a high speed serial interface to characterize mixed signal blocks as well as to ship data in or out for debug purposes are designed. The chip is taped out in 0.18µm IBM's radiation hardened CMOS process technology. A test board is built with the chip, external power FETs and driver IC. At the time of this writing, PWM operation, PFM detection, transitions between PWM and PFM, and both serial interfaces are validated on the test board.

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Date Created
2014

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DC optimizer for PV module

Description

As residential photovoltaic (PV) systems become more and more common and widespread, their system architectures are being developed to maximize power extraction while keeping the cost of associated electronics to a minimum. An architecture that has become popular in

As residential photovoltaic (PV) systems become more and more common and widespread, their system architectures are being developed to maximize power extraction while keeping the cost of associated electronics to a minimum. An architecture that has become popular in recent years is the "DC optimizer" architecture, wherein one DC-DC converter is connected to the output of each PV module. The DC optimizer architecture has the advantage of performing maximum power-point tracking (MPPT) at the module level, without the high cost of using an inverter on each module (the "microinverter" architecture). This work details the design of a proposed DC optimizer. The design incorporates a series-input parallel-output topology to implement MPPT at the sub-module level. This topology has some advantages over the more common series-output DC optimizer, including relaxed requirements for the system's inverter. An autonomous control scheme is proposed for the series-connected converters, so that no external control signals are needed for the system to operate, other than sunlight. The DC optimizer in this work is designed with an emphasis on efficiency, and to that end it uses GaN FETs and an active clamp technique to reduce switching and conduction losses. As with any parallel-output converter, phase interleaving is essential to minimize output RMS current losses. This work proposes a novel phase-locked loop (PLL) technique to achieve interleaving among the series-input converters.

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2014

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System identification of linear and switching regulators using switched capacitor correlator

Description

Power Management circuits are employed in almost all electronic equipment and they have energy storage elements (capacitors and inductors) as building blocks along with other active circuitry. Power management circuits employ feedback to achieve good load and line regulation. The

Power Management circuits are employed in almost all electronic equipment and they have energy storage elements (capacitors and inductors) as building blocks along with other active circuitry. Power management circuits employ feedback to achieve good load and line regulation. The feedback loop is designed at an operating point and component values are chosen to meet that design requirements. But the capacitors and inductors are subject to variations due to temperature, aging and load stress. Due to these variations, the feedback loop can cross its robustness margins and can lead to degraded performance and potential instability. Another issue in power management circuits is the measurement of their frequency response for stability assessment. The standard techniques used in production test environment require expensive measurement equipment (Network Analyzer) and time. These two issues of component variations and frequency response measurement can be addressed if the frequency response of the power converter is used as measure of component (capacitor and inductor) variations. So, a single solution of frequency response measurement solves both the issues. This work examines system identification (frequency response measurement) of power management circuits based on cross correlation technique and proposes the use of switched capacitor correlator for this purpose. A switched capacitor correlator has been designed and used in the system identification of Linear and Switching regulators. The obtained results are compared with the standard frequency response measurement methods of power converters.

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Date Created
2015