Matching Items (8)

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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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Date Created
  • 2019

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An Electrical-Stimulus-Only BIST IC For Capacitive MEMS Accelerometer Sensitivity Characterization

Description

Testing and calibration constitute a significant part of the overall manufacturing cost of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices. Developing a low-cost testing and calibration scheme applicable at the user side that

Testing and calibration constitute a significant part of the overall manufacturing cost of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices. Developing a low-cost testing and calibration scheme applicable at the user side that ensures the continuous reliability and accuracy is a crucial need. The main purpose of testing is to eliminate defective devices and to verify the qualifications of a product is met. The calibration process for capacitive MEMS devices, for the most part, entails the determination of the mechanical sensitivity. In this work, a physical-stimulus-free built-in-self-test (BIST) integrated circuit (IC) design characterizing the sensitivity of capacitive MEMS accelerometers is presented. The BIST circuity can extract the amplitude and phase response of the acceleration sensor's mechanics under electrical excitation within 0.55% of error with respect to its mechanical sensitivity under the physical stimulus. Sensitivity characterization is performed using a low computation complexity multivariate linear regression model. The BIST circuitry maximizes the use of existing analog and mixed-signal readout signal chain and the host processor core, without the need for computationally expensive Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)-based approaches. The BIST IC is designed and fabricated using the 0.18-µm CMOS technology. The sensor analog front-end and BIST circuitry are integrated with a three-axis, low-g capacitive MEMS accelerometer in a single hermetically sealed package. The BIST circuitry occupies 0.3 mm2 with a total readout IC area of 1.0 mm2 and consumes 8.9 mW during self-test operation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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In-field built-in self-test for measuring RF transmitter power and gain

Description

RF transmitter manufacturers go to great extremes and expense to ensure that their product meets the RF output power requirements for which they are designed. Therefore, there is an urgent

RF transmitter manufacturers go to great extremes and expense to ensure that their product meets the RF output power requirements for which they are designed. Therefore, there is an urgent need for in-field monitoring of output power and gain to bring down the costs of RF transceiver testing and ensure product reliability. Built-in self-test (BIST) techniques can perform such monitoring without the requirement for expensive RF test equipment. In most BIST techniques, on-chip resources, such as peak detectors, power detectors, or envelope detectors are used along with frequency down conversion to analyze the output of the design under test (DUT). However, this conversion circuitry is subject to similar process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) variations as the DUT and affects the measurement accuracy. So, it is important to monitor BIST performance over time, voltage and temperature, such that accurate in-field measurements can be performed.

In this research, a multistep BIST solution using only baseband signals for test analysis is presented. An on-chip signal generation circuit, which is robust with respect to time, supply voltage, and temperature variations is used for self-calibration of the BIST system before the DUT measurement. Using mathematical modelling, an analytical expression for the output signal is derived first and then test signals are devised to extract the output power of the DUT. By utilizing a standard 180nm IBM7RF CMOS process, a 2.4GHz low power RF IC incorporated with the proposed BIST circuitry and on-chip test signal source is designed and fabricated. Experimental results are presented, which show this BIST method can monitor the DUT’s output power with +/- 0.35dB accuracy over a 20dB power dynamic range.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Calibration of MEMS capacitive accelerometers using electrical stimulus BIST

Description

The applications which use MEMS accelerometer have been on rise and many new fields which are using the MEMS devices have been on rise. The industry is trying to reduce

The applications which use MEMS accelerometer have been on rise and many new fields which are using the MEMS devices have been on rise. The industry is trying to reduce the cost of production of these MEMS devices. These devices are manufactured using micromachining and the interface circuitry is manufactured using CMOS and the final product is integrated on to a single chip. Amount spent on testing of the MEMS devices make up a considerable share of the total final cost of the device. In order to save the cost and time spent on testing, researchers have been trying to develop different methodologies. At present, MEMS devices are tested using mechanical stimuli to measure the device parameters and for calibration the device. This testing is necessary since the MEMS process is not a very well controlled process unlike CMOS. This is done using an ATE and the cost of using ATE (automatic testing equipment) contribute to 30-40% of the devices final cost. This thesis proposes an architecture which can use an Electrical Signal to stimulate the MEMS device and use the data from the MEMS response in approximating the calibration coefficients efficiently. As a proof of concept, we have designed a BIST (Built-in self-test) circuit for MEMS accelerometer. The BIST has an electrical stimulus generator, Capacitance-to-voltage converter, ∑ ∆ ADC. This thesis explains in detail the design of the Electrical stimulus generator. We have also designed a technique to correlate the parameters obtained from electrical stimuli to those obtained by mechanical stimuli. This method is cost effective since the additional circuitry needed to implement BIST is less since the technique utilizes most of the existing standard readout circuitry already present.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Digitally controlled DC-DC buck converters with lossless current sensing

Description

Current sensing ability is one of the most desirable features of contemporary current or voltage mode controlled DC-DC converters. Current sensing can be used for over load protection, multi-stage converter

Current sensing ability is one of the most desirable features of contemporary current or voltage mode controlled DC-DC converters. Current sensing can be used for over load protection, multi-stage converter load balancing, current-mode control, multi-phase converter current-sharing, load independent control, power efficiency improvement etc. There are handful existing approaches for current sensing such as external resistor sensing, triode mode current mirroring, observer sensing, Hall-Effect sensors, transformers, DC Resistance (DCR) sensing, Gm-C filter sensing etc. However, each method has one or more issues that prevent them from being successfully applied in DC-DC converter, e.g. low accuracy, discontinuous sensing nature, high sensitivity to switching noise, high cost, requirement of known external power filter components, bulky size, etc. In this dissertation, an offset-independent inductor Built-In Self Test (BIST) architecture is proposed which is able to measure the inductor inductance and DCR. The measured DCR enables the proposed continuous, lossless, average current sensing scheme. A digital Voltage Mode Control (VMC) DC-DC buck converter with the inductor BIST and current sensing architecture is designed, fabricated, and experimentally tested. The average measurement errors for inductance, DCR and current sensing are 2.1%, 3.6%, and 1.5% respectively. For the 3.5mm by 3.5mm die area, inductor BIST and current sensing circuits including related pins only consume 5.2% of the die area. BIST mode draws 40mA current for a maximum time period of 200us upon start-up and the continuous current sensing consumes about 400uA quiescent current. This buck converter utilizes an adaptive compensator. It could update compensator internally so that the overall system has a proper loop response for large range inductance and load current. Next, a digital Average Current Mode Control (ACMC) DC-DC buck converter with the proposed average current sensing circuits is designed and tested. To reduce chip area and power consumption, a 9 bits hybrid Digital Pulse Width Modulator (DPWM) which uses a Mixed-mode DLL (MDLL) is also proposed. The DC-DC converter has a maximum of 12V input, 1-11 V output range, and a maximum of 3W output power. The maximum error of one least significant bit (LSB) delay of the proposed DPWM is less than 1%.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Built-in-self test of transmitter I/Q mismatch and nonlinearities using self-mixing envelope detector

Description

Built-in-Self-Test (BiST) for transmitters is a desirable choice since it eliminates the reliance on expensive instrumentation to do RF signal analysis. Existing on-chip resources, such as power or envelope detectors,

Built-in-Self-Test (BiST) for transmitters is a desirable choice since it eliminates the reliance on expensive instrumentation to do RF signal analysis. Existing on-chip resources, such as power or envelope detectors, or small additional circuitry can be used for BiST purposes. However, due to limited bandwidth, measurement of complex specifications, such as IQ imbalance, is challenging. In this work, a BiST technique to compute transmitter IQ imbalances using measurements out of a self-mixing envelope detector is proposed. Both the linear and non linear parameters of the RF transmitter path are extracted successfully. We first derive an analytical expression for the output signal. Using this expression, we devise test signals to isolate the effects of gain and phase imbalance, DC offsets, time skews and system nonlinearity from other parameters of the system. Once isolated, these parameters are calculated easily with a few mathematical operations. Simulations and hardware measurements show that the technique can provide accurate characterization of IQ imbalances. One of the glaring advantages of this method is that, the impairments are extracted from analyzing the response at baseband frequency and thereby eliminating the need of high frequency ATE (Automated Test Equipment).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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An electrical stimulus based built in self test (BIST) circuit for capacitive MEMS accelerometer

Description

Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is one of the fastest growing field in silicon industry. Low cost production is key for any company to improve their market share. MEMS testing

Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is one of the fastest growing field in silicon industry. Low cost production is key for any company to improve their market share. MEMS testing is challenging since input to test a MEMS device require physical stimulus like acceleration, pressure etc. Also, MEMS device vary with process and requires calibration to make them reliable. This increases test cost and testing time. This challenge can be overcome by combining electrical stimulus based testing along with statistical analysis on MEMS response for electrical stimulus and also limited physical stimulus response data. This thesis proposes electrical stimulus based built in self test(BIST) which can be used to get MEMS data and later this data can be used for statistical analysis. A capacitive MEMS accelerometer is considered to test this BIST approach. This BIST circuit overhead is less and utilizes most of the standard readout circuit. This thesis discusses accelerometer response for electrical stimulus and BIST architecture. As a part of this BIST circuit, a second order sigma delta modulator has been designed. This modulator has a sampling frequency of 1MHz and bandwidth of 6KHz. SNDR of 60dB is achieved with 1Vpp differential input signal and 3.3V supply

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Low cost analytical techniques for transceiver characterization

Description

Radio frequency (RF) transceivers require a disproportionately high effort in terms of test development time, test equipment cost, and test time. The relatively high test cost stems from two contributing

Radio frequency (RF) transceivers require a disproportionately high effort in terms of test development time, test equipment cost, and test time. The relatively high test cost stems from two contributing factors. First, RF transceivers require the measurement of a diverse set of specifications, requiring multiple test set-ups and long test times, which complicates load-board design, debug, and diagnosis. Second, high frequency operation necessitates the use of expensive equipment, resulting in higher per second test time cost compared with mixed-signal or digital circuits. Moreover, in terms of the non-recurring engineering cost, the need to measure complex specfications complicates the test development process and necessitates a long learning process for test engineers. Test time is dominated by changing and settling time for each test set-up. Thus, single set-up test solutions are desirable. Loop-back configuration where the transmitter output is connected to the receiver input are used as the desirable test set- up for RF transceivers, since it eliminates the reliance on expensive instrumentation for RF signal analysis and enables measuring multiple parameters at once. In-phase and Quadrature (IQ) imbalance, non-linearity, DC offset and IQ time skews are some of the most detrimental imperfections in transceiver performance. Measurement of these parameters in the loop-back mode is challenging due to the coupling between the receiver (RX) and transmitter (TX) parameters. Loop-back based solutions are proposed in this work to resolve this issue. A calibration algorithm for a subset of the above mentioned impairments is also presented. Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) is a system-level parameter that is specified for most advanced communication standards. EVM measurement often takes extensive test development efforts, tester resources, and long test times. EVM is analytically related to system impairments, which are typically measured in a production test i environment. Thus, EVM test can be eliminated from the test list if the relations between EVM and system impairments are derived independent of the circuit implementation and manufacturing process. In this work, the focus is on the WLAN standard, and deriving the relations between EVM and three of the most detrimental impairments for QAM/OFDM based systems (IQ imbalance, non-linearity, and noise). Having low cost test techniques for measuring the RF transceivers imperfections and being able to analytically compute EVM from the measured parameters is a complete test solution for RF transceivers. These techniques along with the proposed calibration method can be used in improving the yield by widening the pass/fail boundaries for transceivers imperfections. For all of the proposed methods, simulation and hardware measurements prove that the proposed techniques provide accurate characterization of RF transceivers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013