Correlated level shifting as a power-saving method to reduce the effects of finite DC gain and signal swing in opamps Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6682x6556

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  • This thesis presents methods to reduce the effects of finite opamp DC gain, output voltage swing limitations in opamps, and component mismatches. The primary contribution of this thesis is a new switched-capacitor method named correlated level shifting (CLS). CLS enables true rail-to-rail operation by storing an estimate of the desired signal on a capacitor during an "estimate" phase, and subtracting the signal from the active circuitry (typically an opamp) during a "level shift" phase. This is done within the confines of a feedback loop. The effective loop-gain is the product of the loop-gains during the estimate and level shift phases. This enables, for example, a two-stage opamp to have the accuracy of a four-stage opamp. It also enables full utilization of the power supply since the gain block's output voltage can exceed the power supply. The thesis shows that the full utilization of the power supply and the increased DC effective loop gain leads to a significant power savings compared to existing techniques. The methods are presented in the context of pipelined analog-to-digital converters, although the methods can be used with other circuits that use opamps or are sensitive to component mismatch. An overview of the detrimental effects of reduced signal swing and low DC gain is given with an emphasis on the cost in power to correct these deficiencies when limited to existing circuit techniques. CLS is then shown to correct these deficiencies without increasing power. A detailed explanation of CLS operation is given, as are measured results from a 12-bit pipelined analog-to-digital converter that was fabricated using a 0.18μ CMOS process. The results include greater than 10-bit performance with true rail-to-rail operation. An overview of calibration is also given and the limitations are discussed. An argument is made that using CLS in addition to calibration will reduce power by increasing signal-to-noise ratio and reducing and linearizing the errors due to finite opamp gain. In addition, a method to reduce the effects of mismatch by measuring the relative size of elements is presented. Finally, several avenues for future research into CLS are given.
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