SOI mixed-mode design techniques and case studies

Since the emergence of Silicon On Insulator (SOI) technology the research activities have been concentrated on a detailed analysis of SOI devices and their use in different application fields (low-voltage, low-power circuits, high temperature electronics, digital circuits, etc.). The present thesis deals with low-voltage, low-power mixed-mode design using a SOI technology. The goal is to establish the concepts that allow one to design SOI mixed-mode circuits, and to apply these concepts to the design of fully depleted (FD) and partially depleted (PD) SOI circuits and systems. Two studies have been realized in the scope of this work: a Hall sensor based microsystem design using an experimental FD SOI technology a DRAM design using capacitor-less 1T floating-body PD SOI memory cells. At the beginning of this thesis, two major types of SOI devices are introduced, namely FD and PD devices. The most important properties of these devices are then presented and compared to those of CMOS bulk devices. A design methodology based on design retargeting from bulk to SOI technology is further proposed. This methodology is developed with the aim of being implemented for the design of FD SOI circuits. It consists in using the same device dimensions and bias currents for the bulk and the corresponding FD SOI design. The analysis performed proves that such an approach permits one to obtain better circuit performances using the FD SOI technology. The EKV model is chosen for Spice simulations. For that purpose the extraction of the EKV intrinsic parameters has been performed for the experimental 0.5 μm FD SOI technology. The EKV model card obtained from transistor measurements is implemented straightforwardly for circuit simulations. The first study presented in this thesis is an FD SOI Hall sensor front-end for energy measurement. The mixed-mode microsystem design is completely based on the proposed design methodology. The system level solutions are also included, such as the spinning-current method that serves for reduction of the offset and low frequency noise of the analog front-end, and a high resolution analog-to-digital conversion technique. The integrated microsystem is entirely functional. Furthermore, according to the existing literature, this integrated circuit is the first microsystem completely realized using FD SOI technology. The overall system error that is obtained is less than 1.5 %. During the second part of this work, a novel sensing scheme that exploits an automatic reference generation based on successive approximations has been developed for the PD SOI capacitor-less 1T DRAM. The 1T DRAM reference current is generated by an adjustable current source. The electrical calibration of the reference current is performed using a digital-to-analog converter and successive approximations algorithm. The proposed scheme is evaluated in a 2 kb test chip. The circuit integrated using PD SOI technology contains a 2 kb 1T memory array, as well as automatic reference generators and peripheral circuits. The automatic reference generator comprises current mode sense amplifier, M/3M converter, and successive approximations register. All blocks implemented in the test chip are described in detail, and PD SOI design issues are discussed. A number of experimental results demonstrate the potential of the PD SOI 1T DRAM for future embedded DRAM applications. The measured retention time under holding conditions is higher than 1s. In the continuous read mode, a few hundreds of the read cycles can be performed without a refresh operation. The test chip has a measured access time of 25 ns with a read cycle time of 70 ns.

Kayal, Maher
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis3319-9

Note: The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2005-08-31, last modified 2018-05-01

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