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Title:Design of energy-efficient high-speed wireline transceiver
Author(s):Choi, Wooseok
Director of Research:Hanumolu, Pavan Kumar
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hanumolu, Pavan Kumar
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kim, Nam Sung; Schutt-Ainé, José E.; Srikant, Rayadurgam
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Energy efficiency
Serial link
High-speed input/output (I/O)
Wireline transceiver
Near-threshold voltage design
Burst-mode clock and data recovery (CDR)
Rapid on/off link
Abstract:Energy efficiency has become the most important performance metric of integrated circuits used in many applications ranging from mobile devices to high-performance processors. The power problem permeates both computing and communication systems alike. Especially in the era of Big Data, continuously growing demand for higher communication bandwidth is driving the need for energy-efficient high-speed I/O serial links. However, the rate at which the energy efficiency of serial links is improving is much slower than the rate at which the required data transfer bandwidth is increasing. This dissertation explores two design approaches for energy-efficient communication systems. The first design approach maximizes the energy efficiency of a transceiver without any performance loss, and as a prototype, a source-synchronous multi-Gb/s transceiver that achieves excellent energy efficiency lower than 0.3pJ/bit is presented. To this end, the proposed transceiver employs aggressive supply voltage scaling, and multiplexed transmitter and receiver synchronized by low-rate multi-phase clocks are adopted to achieve high data rate even at a supply voltage close to the device threshold voltage. Phase spacing errors resulting from device mismatches are corrected using a self-calibration scheme. The proposed phase calibration method uses a single digital delay-locked loop (DLL) for calibrating all the phases, which makes the calibration process insensitive to the supply voltage level. Thanks to this technique, the proposed multi-Gb/s transceiver operates robustly and energy-efficiently at a very low supply voltage. Fabricated in a 65nm CMOS process, the energy efficiency and data rate of the prototype transceiver vary from 0.29pJ/bit to 0.58pJ/bit and 1Gb/s to 6Gb/s, respectively, as the supply voltage is varied from 0.45V to 0.7V. In the second approach, observing that the data traffic in a real system is bursty, a full-rate burst-mode transceiver that achieves rapid on/off operation needed for energy-proportional systems is presented. By injecting input data edges into the oscillator embedded in a classical type-II digital clock and data recovery (CDR) circuit, the proposed receiver achieves instantaneous phase-locking and input jitter filtering simultaneously. In other words, the proposed CDR combines the advantages of conventional feed-forward and feedback architectures to achieve energy-proportional operation. By controlling the number of data edges injected into the oscillator, both the jitter transfer bandwidth and the jitter tolerance corner are accurately controlled. The feedback loop also corrects for any frequency error and helps improve the CDR's immunity to oscillator frequency drift during the power-on and -off states. This also improves the CDR's tolerance to consecutive identical digits present in the input data. Fabricated in a 90nm CMOS process, the prototype receiver instantaneously locks onto the very first data edge and consumes 6.1mW at 2.2Gb/s. Owing to its short power-on time, the overall transceiver's energy efficiency varies only from 5.4pJ/bit to 10.7pJ/bit when the effective data rate is varied from 2.2Gb/s to 0.22Gb/s.
Issue Date:2017-04-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Wooseok Choi
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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