Exploiting Floating-Gate Transistor Properties in Analog and Mixed-Signal Circuit Design
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With the downscaling trend in CMOS technology, it has been possible to utilize the advantages of high element densities in VLSI circuits and systems. This trend has readily allowed digital circuits to predominate VLSI implementations due to their ease of scaling. However, high element density in integrated circuit technology has also entailed a decrease in the power consumption per functional circuit cell for the use of low-power and reconfigurable systems in portable equipment. Analog circuits have the advantage over digital circuits in designing low-power and compact VLSI circuits for signal processing systems. Also, analog circuits have been employed to utilize the wide dynamic range of the analog domain to meet the stringent signal-to-noise-and-distortion requirements of some signal processing applications. However, the imperfections and mismatches of CMOS devices can easily deteriorate the performance of analog circuits when they are used to realize precision and highly linear elements in the analog domain. This is mainly due to the lack of tunability of the analog circuits that necessitates the use of special trimming or layout techniques. These problems can be alleviated by making use of the analog storage and capacitive coupling capabilities of floating-gate transistors. In this research, tunable resistive elements and analog storages are built using floating-gate transistors to be incorporated into signal processing applications. Tunable linearized resistors are designed and implemented in CMOS technology, and are employed in building a highly linear amplifier, a transconductance multiplier, and a binary-weighted resistor digital-to-analog converter. Moreover, a tunable voltage reference is designed by utilizing the analog storage feature of the floating-gate transistor. This voltage reference is used to build low-power, compact, and tunable/reconfigurable voltage-output digital-to-analog converter and distributed arithmetic architecture.