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Current-mode techniques for high-speed VLSI circuits with application to current sense amplifier for CMOS SRAM's

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3 Author(s)
Seevinck, E. ; Philips Res. Lab., Eindhoven, Netherlands ; van Beers, P.J. ; Ontrop, H.

The speed of VLSI chips is increasingly limited by signal delay in long interconnect lines. A simple analysis shows that major speed improvements are possible when using current-mode rather than conventional voltage-mode signal transporting techniques. The key to this approach is the use of low-resistance current-signal circuits to drastically reduce the impedance level and the voltage swings on long interconnect lines. As an example, a simple four-transistor current-sense amplifier for fast CMOS SRAMs is proposed. The circuit presents a virtual short circuit to the bit lines, thus reducing the sensing delay, which is rendered practically insensitive to the bit-line capacitance. In addition, the virtual short circuit ensures equal bit-line voltages, thus eliminating the need for bit-line equalization during a read access

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 4 )