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This paper analyzes the signaling and digital power overhead of pre-emphasis voltage-mode transmitters. Utilizing a shunt branch in parallel with the differential channel to implement pre-emphasis is shown to have the best overall energy-efficiency. Leveraging this technique, an efficient pre-emphasis voltage mode transmitter architecture with output amplitude control, pre-emphasis coefficient control, and online impedance calibration is proposed and demonstrated. A 65 nm LP CMOS implementation of this architecture dissipates ~ 10 mW from a 1.2 V supply when transmitting 10 Gb/s 200 mV differential amplitude data with 2-tap pre-emphasis, achieving 1 pJ/bit energy efficiency.