Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Reconfigurable time interval measurement circuit incorporating a programmable gain time difference amplifier
Authors: Alahmadi, Ahmed Naif M.
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: As further advances are made in semiconductor manufacturing technology the performance of circuits is continuously increasing. Unfortunately, as the technology node descends deeper into the nanometre region, achieving the potential performance gain is becoming more of a challenge; due not only to the effects of process variation but also to the reduced timing margins between signals within the circuit creating timing problems. Production Standard Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) is incapable of performing internal timing measurements due, first to the lack of accessibility and second to the overall timing accuracy of the tester which is grossly inadequate. To address these issue ‘on-chip’ time measurement circuits have been developed in a similar way that built in self-test (BIST) evolved for ‘on-chip’ logic testing. This thesis describes the design and analysis of three time amplifier circuits. The analysis undertaken considers the operational aspects related to gain and input dynamic range, together with the robustness of the circuits to the effects of process, voltage and temperature (PVT) variations. The design which had the best overall performance was subsequently compared to a benchmark design, which used the ‘buffer delay offset’ technique for time amplification, and showed a marked 6.5 times improvement on the dynamic range extending this from 40 ps to 300ps. The new design was also more robust to the effects of PVT variations. The new time amplifier design was further developed to include an adjustable gain capability which could be varied in steps of approximately 7.5 from 4 to 117. The time amplifier was then connected to a 32-stage tapped delay line to create a reconfigurable time measurement circuit with an adjustable resolution range from 15 down to 0.5 ps and a dynamic range from 480 down to 16 ps depending upon the gain setting. The overall footprint of the measurement circuit, together with its calibration module occupies an area of 0.026 mm2 The final circuit, overall, satisfied the main design criteria for ‘on-chip’ time measurement circuitry, namely, it has a wide dynamic range, high resolution, robust to the effects of PVT and has a small area overhead.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Alahmadi, A.N.M. 13.pdfThesis3.74 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.