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This paper describes a robust architecture for high speed serial links for embedded SoC applications, implemented to satisfy the 1.5 Gb/s and 3 Gb/s Serial-ATA PHY standards. To meet the primary design requirements of a sub-system that is very tolerant of device variability and is easy to port to smaller nanometre CMOS technologies, a minimum of precision analog functions are used. All digital functions are implemented in rail-to-rail CMOS with maximum use of synthesized library cells. A single fixed frequency low-jitter PLL serves the transmit and receive paths in both modes so that tracking and lock time issues are eliminated. A new oversampling CDR with a simple feed-forward error correction scheme is proposed which relaxes the requirements for the analog front-end as well as for the received signal quality. Measurements show that the error corrector can almost double the tolerance to incoming jitter and to DC offsets in the analog front-end. The design occupies less than 0.4 mm2 in 90 nm CMOS and consumes 75 mW.
Date of Publication: July 2009