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1 Design and Impementation of a Sub- threshold BFSK Transmitter By: Suganth Paul # Rajesh Garg $ Sunil P. Khatri $ Sheila Vaidya % # Intel Corporation,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Design and Impementation of a Sub- threshold BFSK Transmitter By: Suganth Paul # Rajesh Garg $ Sunil P. Khatri $ Sheila Vaidya % # Intel Corporation,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Design and Impementation of a Sub- threshold BFSK Transmitter By: Suganth Paul # Rajesh Garg $ Sunil P. Khatri $ Sheila Vaidya % # Intel Corporation, Austin, TX $ Department of ECE, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX % Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA

2 2 Outline  Sub-threshold circuits – the opportunity  Challenges  Process/temperature/voltage variations  Solution – dynamic body bias  Validation via test chip  Design methodology  Silicon results  Conclusions

3 3 The Opportunity  Compared traditional circuit with sub-threshold (obtained by simply setting VDD < V T )  Performed simulations for 2 different processes on a 21 stage ring oscillator.  Impressive power reduction  Impressive power reduction (100X – 500X)  Power-Delay-Product (P-D-P) improves by as much as 20X  P-D-P is an important metric to compare circuit design styles  Power consumption has become a major issue for recent ICs  There is a large and growing class of applications where power reduction is paramount – not speed.  Such applications are ideal candidates for sub-threshold circuit design

4 4 Sub-threshold Logic  Ids has an exponential dependence on process, voltage and temperature (PVT)  Need to stabilize the circuit performance by compensating for PVT variations  No approach to compensate sub-threshold delay  Existing approaches compensate sub-threshold currents  To compensate delay, need a representative circuit  Not easy to come up with representative circuit for standard cells

5 5 Our Solution self-adjusting body-bias to phase-lock the circuit delay to a beat clock.  We propose a technique that uses self-adjusting body-bias to phase-lock the circuit delay to a beat clock. network of PLAs  Use a network of PLAs to implement circuits. common nbulk node  Several PLAs in a cluster share a common nbulk node.  A representative PLA in each cluster is chosen to phase lock the delay of the PLAs to the beat clock  If the delay is too high, a forward body bias is applied to speed up the representative PLA.  If the delay is low, body bias is brought back down to zero to slow down the representative PLA.  All other PLAs exhibit the same delay as the representative PLA, since they all share a common nbulk terminal

6 6 Objective  Validate and verify flow by designing a sub-threshold circuit for the application  Choose a test application  Low power, low speed  Develop a sub-threshold circuit design flow  Implement our delay compensation scheme to negate PVT variations  Implement the same application using a standard cell based flow on the same die  Fabricate and test the chip (TSMC 0.25 um process)  Compare the sub-threshold circuit with the standard cell circuit in terms of power consumption

7 7 Test Application - Binary Frequency Shift Keying (BFSK) Transmitter DAC Amplifier Antenna Digital BFSK Modulator Produces two tones f 1 if Input is LOW f 2 if Input is HIGH Binary Input Data Digital Block Implemented Using Sub-threshold Circuits  Specifications  Input bit Rate: R B = 32kbps, Broadcast distance: D = 1000m  FSK tones: f 1 =150kHz, f 2 =450kHz, Channel bandwidth: B = 300kHz

8 8 Sub-threshold Design Approach  Digital part of the circuit implemented as NPLA  Digital part of the circuit implemented as NPLA (Network of Programmable Logic Arrays)  NPLAs have low delay  Critical path delay easy to find  PLAs have common nbulk node  Circuit level PVT compensation phase locked with the critical path delay  An external Beat Clock (BCLK) signal is phase locked with the critical path delay charge pump that modulates the bulk voltage  Delay controlled by a charge pump that modulates the bulk voltage of transistors in the circuit  Compensates for both inter- and intra-die variations

9 9 Dynamic NOR-NOR PLA  We use precharged NOR-NOR PLAs as the structure of choice  Wordlines run horizontally  Inputs / their complements and outputs run vertically  Each PLA has a “ completion ” signal that switches low after all the outputs switch  Several PLAs in a cluster share a common nbulk node. Inputs Outputs completion clk Precharge Evaluate

10 10 Network of PLAs (NPLA) L1 PLA L2 PLA L2 PLA L3 PLA L4 PLA Timing Diagram L1 PLA L2 PLA L3 PLA L4 PLA Combinational Logic Implemented as NPLA Inputs Outputs Throughput = T pchg +n.T eval clk

11 11 The Charge Pump - PLA “completion” signal lags beat clock - nbulk node gets forward biased - PLA “completion” signal leads beat clock - nbulk goes back to zero bias pullup pulldown

12 12 Effectiveness of the Approach  We simulated a single PLA from 0ºC to 100ºC. Also applied V T variations (10%) and VDD variations (10%).  The light region shows the variations on delay over all the corners without delay compensation.  The red region shows the delays with the self-adjusting body- bias circuit.

13 13 Design Flow BFSK Design HDLSynthesis Map to NPLA Logic Verification Integrated Spice Netlist Layout LVSRC Extraction Full Chip Spice Verification Spice Verification: Functional, timing, charge pump Design Of Analog Components

14 14     98 DFF Sine Lookup Table Depth: 2 9 = 512 Phase Increment Clk Mux Binary Input Phase Accumulator BFSK Design  f out < f clk /2, Nyquist criterion, implies   < 256.  Phase increments chosen based on f clk or left programmable in real time to get Software Defined Radio (SDR) operation.  We fix phase increments to avoid extra input pins required for SDR f out = f clk   512

15 15 Design Flow BFSK Design HDLSynthesis Map to NPLA Logic Verification Integrated Spice Netlist Layout LVSRC Extraction Full Chip Spice Verification Spice Verification: Functional, timing, charge pump Design Of Analog Components

16 16 Basic BFSK transmitter Block Diagram DAC Amplifier Antenna Digital BFSK Modulator Produces two tones f 1 if Input is LOW f 2 if Input is HIGH Binary Input Data Digital Block Implemented Using NPLA based Sub-threshold Circuits

17 17 System Architecture Charge Pump Phase Accum NCO Binary to Thermometer Encoder DFF CLK BEAT CLK CLK DACAmplifier Antenna Digital BFSK Modulator Input Phase Detector Ref. PLA completion Common Bulkn Digital BFSK using NPLA 4 LSBs - Binary 15 MSBs - Thermometer Avoids glitches in DAC o/p

18 18 Delay Compensated Sub- threshold Design block diagram L1 PLA L2 PLA L2 PLA L3 PLA L4 PLA DFFs Beat Clk Phase Detector Charge Pump Completion of Reference PLA Common nbulk node of a cluster of PLAs, modulated by charge pump Clk L1 PLA L2 PLA L2 PLA NPLA

19 19 HDL to Schematic of Digital BFSK  Digital BFSK transmitter described using VHDL  VHDL synthesized using FPGA synthesis tool, to get a gate level netlist  This is imported into SIS in “ blif ” format  The “ blif ” file is logically optimized and mapped into NPLA  Technology Independent Optimization done on circuit  Circuit converted to a mult-level network of nodes with 5 or less inputs per node  Circuit traversed from inputs to outputs, and nodes are implemented using PLAs of size (8/6/12)  Using NPLA throughput equation, f clk estimated as 1.2MHz  We choose f 1 ≈0.115* f clk and f 2 = 0.345* f clk

20 20 Design Flow BFSK Design HDLSynthesis Map to NPLA Logic Verification Integrated Spice Netlist Layout LVSRC Extraction Full Chip Spice Verification Spice Verification: Functional, timing, charge pump Design Of Analog Components

21 21 System Architecture Charge Pump Phase Accum NCO Binary to Thermometer Encoder DFF CLK BEAT CLK CLK DACAmplifier Antenna Digital BFSK Modulator Input Phase Detector Ref. PLA completion Common Bulkn

22 22 Thermometer Coded 8-BIT DAC 4 4 LSBs Digital BFSK Output Binary to Thermometer Code Conversion DAC ThermBinary Adjacent Values Differ by 1-bit

23 23 8-BIT DAC Schematic CM legT 4 - T 18 B3B3 B2B2 B1B1 B0B0 Device size16W 1 8W 1 4W 1 2W 1 W1W1  Currents flow through mirror legs based on input value W1W1  Output current / voltage modulated based by sum of weighted currents through R out  Thermometer codes prevent glitches at output  DAC supply is 0.7V to handle 0.6V digital signals  Rout, Rcm are off-chip resistances

24 24 Amplifier Schematic  Common Source Amplifer  Supply of 0.7V  Rd, Rs are off-chip resistances  M1 biased by DAC Rout resistor  C L on-chip antenna load 80pF

25 25 Testability Features added before Integration Charge Pump Phase Accum NCO Binary to Thermometer Encoder DFF CLK BEAT CLK CLK DAC Amplifier Antenna Input Phase Detector Ref. PLA completion Common Bulkn CHIP 8-BIT BFSK Output or 8-BIT DAC Input Bulkn Charge Pump Supply DAC Ouput Amp Ouput

26 26 Layout  Manual PLA layout for every PLA in design  NPLA routed using SEDSM  I/O pad cells, ESD diodes layout done manually  DAC, amplifier layout done manually  Antenna coil layout done manually

27 27 PLA Layout Word, Lines Input, Bit Line Output, Lines Transistors, modified based on logic to be implemented

28 28 I/O PAD CELL Layout I/O PAD Primary ESD Diodes Secondary ESD Diodes I/O Drivers  Fully Compliant with TSMC Design rules  ESD Diodes have guard rings to prevent latchup  Fully Compliant with TSMC Design rules  ESD Diodes have guard rings to prevent latchup

29 29 Die Photo Digital BFSK output domain, 2V Digital BFSK inputs domain, 0.7V Digital BFSK domain, 0.6V Std Cell domain, 2.5V

30 30 Experimental Results from Silicon  Output of BFSK transistor is shown  As input changes from 0 to 1, the output frequency changes showing the modulation  Output of BFSK transistor is shown  As input changes from 0 to 1, the output frequency changes showing the modulation  Fclk = 1MHz  F1 = 117kHz  F2 = 347kHz  The adjacent peaks are around -10dB below the fundamental peaks  We found from Matlab Simulations that, signals from the extracted Spice netlist, could be demodulated at the receiver side

31 31 Results from Silicon  Nbulk kept at 0V, 0.45V  Maximum frequency shows an quadratic dependence on supply Voltage Operating Range

32 32 Design StyleOperating Voltage Frequency of Operation Avg Current Power Dissipated Sub-threshold0.6V1.05MHz  26.8  W Std Cell2.5V1.05MHz 208  A520  W Power Comparison  Sub-threshold power calculated only for Phase Accumulator, and NCO blocks on 0.6V power supply,  Std Cell implements only this portion of BFSK circuit  Sub-threshold gives 19.4X lesser power

33 33 Bulkn Node Modulation  Bulk node modulates when beat clock demands speedup or slow-down  Bulk node modulates as supply voltage is changed, so that circuit delay is maintained constant.

34 34 Conclusion  Validated a sub-threshold circuit design methodology based on dynamic body bias (first-of-kind)  Validated design tools and techniques  First-of-kind design automation flow, will help bring sub- threshold design to mainstream.  We implemented an ultra low power, low data rate wireless BFSK transmitter  The fabricated chip, works as expected, validating our design flow.  We compared the sub-threshold design a with Std Cell based design and showed 19.4X reduction in power.

35 35 Thank you!!

36 Backup Slides 36

37 37 Introduction  Power consumption has become a significant hurdle for recent ICs  Higher power consumption leads to  Shorter battery life  Higher on-chip temperatures – reduced operating life of the chip  There is a large and growing class of applications where power reduction is paramount – not speed.  Such applications are ideal candidates for sub- threshold circuit design  For sub-threshold circuits, VDD ≤ V T

38 38 TX/RX System Testing TX PCB with subthreshold IC TX antennas RX board RX setup

39 39 Solving the Problem of Delay Sensitivity to Process, Voltage and Temperature Variations Solving the Problem of Delay Sensitivity to Process, Voltage and Temperature Variations "A Variation-tolerant Sub-threshold Design Approach", Jayakumar, Khatri. Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2005 Anaheim, CA, June

40 40 An Example Showing Phase Locking  This figure shows how the body bias (and hence the delay of the PLA) changes with changes in VDD.  The adjustment is very quick (within a few clock cycles). VDD change 0.2V to 0.22V VDD change 0.22V to 0.18V

41 41 Energy and Speed  We may be interested in the minimum energy operating point for the design  Minimizing VDD reduces power but minimum VDD does not mean minimum energy  The optimum VDD value increases with increased logical depth, and with temperature "Minimum Energy Near-threshold Network of PLA based Design", Jayakumar, Khatri. International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD) 2005, Oct 2-5, San Jose, CA.  Reclaiming the speed penalty  Can be done for datapath circuits, using asynchronous micropipelining  Showed that speedup of 7X is possible, with a area overhead of 44% "A PLA based Asynchronous Micropipelining Approach for Subthreshold Circuit Design", Jayakumar, Garg, Gamache, Khatri. IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2006, July 24-28, San Francisco, CA.

42 42 On-chip Antenna  Antenna size needs to be at least a 10 th of the transmit wavelength to radiate effectively  Transmit wavelength around 600m  Due to on-chip space constraints, antenna coil length is only 0.2m  We have the option of using an external antenna  And we had a 60dB safety margin in the link budget analysis.  This could compensate for a lossy antenna

43 43 Spectrum of Amplifier Tones  Fclk = 1MHz  F1 = 117kHz  F2 = 347kHz  The adjacent peaks are around -10dB below the fundamental peaks  We found from Matlab Simulations that, signals from the extracted Spice netlist, could be demodulated at the receiver side


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