Implementation of Flash Analog-to-Digital Converters in Silicon-on-Insulator Technology

University dissertation from Institutionen för systemteknik

Abstract: High speed analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) used in, e.g., read channel and ultra wideband (UWB) applications are often based on a flash topology. The read channel applications is the intended application of this work, where a part of the work covers the design of two different types of 6-bit flash ADCs. Another field of application is UWB receivers.To optimize the performance of the whole system and derive the specifications for the sub-blocks of the system it is often desired to use a topdown design methodology. To facilitate the top-down design methodology the ADCs are modeled on behavioral level. The models are simulated in MATLAB®. The results are used to verify the functionality of the proposed circuit topologies and serve as a base to the circuit design phase.The first flash ADC has a conventional topology. It has a resistor net connected to a number of latched comparators, but its thermometer-tobinary encoder is based on 2-to-1 multiplexers buffered with inverters. This gives a compact encoder with a regular structure and short critical path. The main disadvantage is the code dependent timing difference between the encoder outputs introduced by this topology. The ADC was simulated on schematic level in Cadence® using the foundry provided transistor models. The design obtained a maximum sampling frequency of 1 GHz, an effective resolution bandwidth of 390 MHz, and a power consumption of 170 mW.The purpose of the second ADC is to demonstrate the concept of introducing dynamic element matching (DEM) into the reference net of a flash ADC. This design yields information about the performance improvements the DEM gives, and what the trade-offs are when introducing DEM. Behavioral level simulations indicate that the SFDR is improved by 11 dB when introducing DEM, but the settling time of the reference net with DEM will now limit the conversion speed of the converter. Further, the maximum input frequency is limited by the total resistance in the reference net, which gets increased in this topology. The total resistance is the total switch on-resistance plus the total resistance of the resistors. To increase the conversion speed and the maximum input frequency a new DEM topology is proposed in this work, which reduces the number of switches introduced into the reference net compared with earlier proposed DEM topologies. The transistor level simulations in Cadence® of the flash ADC with DEM indicates that the SFDR improves by 6 dB compared with when not using DEM, and is expected to improve more if more samples are used in the simulation. This was not possible in the current simulations due to the long simulation time. The improved SFDR is however traded for an increased chip area and a reduction of the maximum sampling frequency to 550 MHzfor this converter. The average power consumption is 92 mW.A goal of this work is to evaluate a 130 nm partially depleted silicon-oninsulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology with respect to analog circuit implementation. The converters are therefore implemented in this technology. When writing this the ADCs are still being manufactured. Since the technology evaluation will be based on the measurement results the final results of the evaluation are not included in this thesis. The conclusions regarding the SOI CMOS technology are therefore based on a literature study of published scientific papers in the SOI area, information extracted during the design phase of the ADCs, and from the transistor level circuit simulations. These inputs indicate that to fully utilize the potential performance advantages of the SOI CMOS technology the partially depleted SOI CMOS technology should be exchanged for a fully depleted SOI CMOS technology. The manufacturing difficulties regarding the control of the thin-film thickness must however first be solved before the exchange can be done.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.