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The Impact of Gate-Oxide Breakdown on Common-Source Amplifiers With Diode-Connected Active Load in Low-Voltage CMOS Processes

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2 Author(s)
Jung-Sheng Chen ; Nat. Chiao-Tung Univ., Hsinchu ; Ming-Dou Ker

The influence of gate-oxide reliability on common-source amplifiers with diode-connected active load is investigated with the nonstacked and stacked structures under analog application in a 130-nm low-voltage CMOS process. The test conditions of this work include the dc stress, ac stress with dc offset, and large-signal transition stress under different frequencies and signals. After overstresses, the small-signal parameters, such as small-signal gain, unity-gain frequency, phase margin, and output dc voltage levels, are measured to verify the impact of gate-oxide reliability on circuit performances of the common-source amplifiers with diode-connected active load. The small-signal parameters of the common-source amplifier with the nonstacked diode-connected active-load structure are strongly degraded than that with the stacked diode-connected active-load structure due to a gate-oxide breakdown under analog and digital applications. The common-source amplifiers with diode-connected active load are not functionally operational under digital application due to the gate-oxide breakdown. The impact of soft and hard gate-oxide breakdowns on the common-source amplifiers with nonstacked and stacked diode-connected active-load structures has been analyzed and discussed. The hard breakdown has more serious impact on the common-source amplifiers with diode-connected active load.

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 11 )