Integrated Circuit for Time Domain Mixed Signal Processing
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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This work explores time to digital conversion techniques, designs and applications for time domain signal processing. Though the time-to-digital conversion devices and integrated circuits (IC) have been invented for decades, recent designs have been revolutionized with the advancements in deep sub-micron CMOS processes. Many of the performance limitations highlighted in early literature, such as the transition speed and power consumption of the transistors, no longer apply to designs in modern IC processes. Two time-to-digital converter (TDC) designs with spiral comparator arrangement, ΔΣ modulations (SDMs) and ring structure are proposed in this dissertation to offer pico-second (ps) level temporal resolution with wide detectable range, ultra linear transfer function and low power consumption. With the aid of high performance TDCs, an all-digital phase-locked-loop (ADPLL) with automatic TDC linearization is presented to prove the fading gap between digital PLL and analog PLL. The proposed ADPLL achieves an in-band phase noise of -107 dBc/Hz and a highest close in fractional spur level of -55 dBc. Owing to pico-second and even sub-pico-second time interval detectability, TDCs pave the ways for the time domain signal processing towards many different potential research directions. Two communication system related time domain signal processing applications: TDC based digital super-regenerative bidirectional IoT node and hybrid time assist data convertor for direct radio frequency (RF) polar receiver system, are included in this work.