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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Modelling and applications of MOS varactors for high-speed CMOS clock and data recovery Sameni, Pedram


The high-speed clock and data recovery (CDR) circuit is a key building block of modern communication systems with applications spanning a wide range from wireline long-haul networks to chip-to-chip and backplane communications. In this dissertation, our focus is on the modelling, design and analysis of devices and circuits used in this versatile system in CMOS technology. Of these blocks, we have identified the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) as an important circuit that contributes to the total noise performance of the CDR. Among different solutions known for this circuit, LC-VCO is acknowledged to have the best phase noise performance, due to the filtering characteristic of the LC tank circuit. We provide details on modelling and characterization of a special type of varactor, the accumulation-mode MOS varactor, used in the tank circuit as a tuning component of these types of VCOs. We propose a new sub-circuit model for this type of varactor, which can be easily migrated to other technologies as long as an accurate model exists for MOS transistors. The model is suitable whenever the numerical models have convergence problems and/or are not defined for the specific designs (e.g., minimum length structures). The model is verified directly using measurement in a standard CMOS 0.13µm process, and indirectly by comparing the tuning curves of an LC-VCO designed in CMOS 0.13µm and 0.18µm processes. Using a varactor, a circuit technique is proposed for designing a narrowband tuneable clock buffer, which can be used in a variety of applications including the CDR system. The buffer automatically adjusts its driving bandwidth to that of the VCO, using the same control voltage that controls the frequency of the VCO. In addition, a detailed analysis of the impact of large output signals on the tuning characteristics of the LC-VCO is performed. It is shown that the oscillation frequency of the VCO deviates from that of an LC tank.

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