A re-configurable pipeline ADC architecture with built-in self-test techniques

Liu, Hui
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High-performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits are integral parts of today's and future networking and communication systems. The main challenge facing the semiconductor industry is the ability to economically produce these analog ICs. This translates, in part, into the need to efficiently evaluate the performance of such ICs during manufacturing (production testing) and to come up with dynamic architectures that enable the performance of these ICs to be maximized during manufacturing and later when they're operating in the field. On the performance evaluation side, this dissertation deals with the concept of Built-In-Self-Test (BIST) to allow the efficient and economical evaluation of certain classes of high-performance analog circuits. On the dynamic architecture side, this dissertation deals with pipeline ADCs and the use of BIST to dynamically, during production testing or in the field, re-configure them to produce better performing ICs.;In the BIST system proposed, the analog test signal is generated on-chip by sigma-delta modulation techniques. The performance of the ADC is measured on-chip by a digital narrow-band filter. When this system is used on the wafer level, significant testing time and thus testing cost can be saved.;A re-configurable pipeline ADC architecture to improve the dynamic performance is proposed. Based on dynamic performance measurements, the best performance configuration is chosen from a collection of possible pipeline configurations. This basic algorithm can be applied to many pipeline analog systems. The proposed grouping algorithm cuts down the number of evaluation permutation from thousands to 18 for a 9-bit ADC thus allowing the method to be used in "real" applications.;To validate the developments of this dissertation, a 40MS/s 9-bit re-configurable pipeline ADC was designed and implemented in TSMC's 0.25mum single-poly CMOS digital process. This includes a fully differential folded-cascode gain-boosting operational amplifier with high gain and high unity-gain bandwidth. The experimental results strongly support the effectiveness of reconfiguration algorithm, which provides an average of 0.5bit ENOB improvement among the set of configurations. For many applications, this is a very significant performance improvement.;The BIST and re-configurability techniques proposed are not limited to pipeline ADCs only. The BIST methodology is applicable to many analog systems and the re-configurability is applicable to any analog pipeline system.

Electrical and computer engineering, Electrical engineering (Microelectronics), Microelectronics