Ultra-Low-Voltage IC Design Methods
Integrated Circuits/Microchips [Working Title]
The emerging nanoscale technologies inherently offer transistors working with low voltage levels and are optimized for low-power operation. However, these technologies lack quality electronic components vital for reliable analog and/or mixed-signal design (e.g., resistor, capacitor, etc.) as they are predominantly used in high-performance digital designs. Moreover, the voltage headroom, ESD properties, the maximum current densities, parasitic effects, process fluctuations, aging effects, and
... ing effects, and many other parameters are superior in verified-by-time CMOS processes using planar transistors. This is the main reason, why low-voltage, low-power high-performance analog and mixed-signal circuits are still being designed in mature process nodes. In the proposed chapter, we bring an overview of main challenges and design techniques effectively applicable for ultra-low-voltage and low-power analog integrated circuits in nanoscale technologies. New design challenges and limitations linked with a low value of the supply voltage, the process fluctuation, device mismatch, and other effects are discussed. In the later part of the chapter, conventional and unconventional design techniques (bulk-driven approach, floating-gate, dynamic threshold, etc.) to design analog integrated circuits towards ultra-low-voltage systems and applications are described. Examples of ultra-low-voltage analog ICs blocks (an operational amplifier, a voltage comparator, a charge pump, etc.) designed in a standard CMOS technology using the unconventional design approach are presented.