BEOL NEM Relay-Based Inductorless DC-DC Converters

Ren Li, Dias Azhigulov, Ahmed Allehyani, Hossein Fariborzi
2020 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS)  
In the past few years, Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) Nano-electromechanical (NEM) relays have emerged as promising switching devices for the beyond-CMOS era, due to their zeroleakage current property, and the compatibility to CMOS fabrication processes. Though the mechanical movement causes the relays to be inherently slower than transistors, the metallic contact interface untethers the limitation on gate-to-drain voltage, which makes the relays capable of handling higher voltages. In this work, we
more » ... opose novel designs for BEOL NEM relay-based inductorless DC-DC converters for on-chip voltage conversions. The design, implementation, and analysis of buck (step-down) and boost (step-up) converters are shown. Both converters consist of only four NEM relays, respectively. By utilizing the charge pump topology in a switched-capacitor configuration, the relay converters exhibit lower output ripple and higher efficiency compared to their CMOS counterparts. This is particularly valuable for DC-DC voltage conversions in the Internet of Things chips, where the converter switching frequency is moderate, while the demands for efficiency, area saving, and on-chip integration are high.
doi:10.1109/iscas45731.2020.9181090 fatcat:vpglenmnvrdlrisx2jo6fli26e