Song, Younghoon (2014-05). Design Techniques for Energy Efficient Multi-GB/S Serial I/O Transceivers. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Total I/O bandwidth demand is growing in high-performance systems due to the emergence of many-core microprocessors and in mobile devices to support the next generation of multi-media features. High-speed serial I/O energy efficiency must improve in order to enable continued scaling of these parallel computing platforms in applications ranging from data centers to smart mobile devices.

    The first work, a low-power forwarded-clock I/O transceiver architecture is presented that employs a high degree of output/input multiplexing, supply-voltage scaling with data rate, and low-voltage circuit techniques to enable low-power operation. The transmitter utilizes a 4:1 output multiplexing voltage-mode driver along with 4-phase clocking that is efficiently generated from a passive poly-phase filter. The output driver voltage swing is accurately controlled from 100-200 mV_(ppd) using a low-voltage pseudo-differential regulator that employs a partial negative-resistance load for improved low frequency gain. 1:8 input de-multiplexing is performed at the receiver equalizer output with 8 parallel input samplers clocked from an 8-phase injection-locked oscillator that provides more than 1UI de-skew range.

    Low-power high-speed serial I/O transmitters which include equalization to compensate for channel frequency dependent loss are required to meet the aggressive link energy efficiency targets of future systems. The second work presents a low power serial link transmitter design that utilizes an output stage which combines a voltage-mode driver, which offers low static-power dissipation, and current-mode equalization, which offers low complexity and dynamic-power dissipation. The utilization of current-mode equalization decouples the equalization settings and termination impedance, allowing for a significant reduction in pre-driver complexity relative to segmented voltage-mode drivers. Proper transmitter series termination is set with an impedance control loop which adjusts the on-resistance of the output transistors in the driver voltage-mode portion. Further reductions in dynamic power dissipation are achieved through scaling the serializer and local clock distribution supply with data rate.

    Finally, it presents that a scalable quarter-rate transmitter employs an analog-controlled impedance-modulated 2-tap voltage-mode equalizer and achieves fast power-state transitioning with a replica-biased regulator and ILO clock generation. Capacitively-driven 2 mm global clock distribution and automatic phase calibration allows for aggressive supply scaling.

publication date

  • May 2014