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With the increasing use of low-voltage portable devices and growing requirements of functionalities embedded into such devices, efficient dc/dc conversion and power management techniques are needed. In this paper, an architecture for boosting extremely low voltages (about 100 mV) to the typical supply voltages of current integrated circuits is presented which is suitable for power harvesting applications too. Starting from a 120-mV supply voltage, the converter reaches an output voltage of 1.2 V, providing an output current of 220 μA and exhibiting a maximum power efficiency of about 30%. Along with the dc/dc converter, a power management circuit is presented, which can regulate the output voltage and improve the overall efficiency. A test chip was fabricated using a United Microelectronics Corporation 180-nm low-threshold CMOS process.
Date of Publication: June 2012