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Robust Level Converter for Sub-Threshold/Super-Threshold Operation:100 mV to 2.5 V

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4 Author(s)
Ik Joon Chang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Jae-Joon Kim ; Keejong Kim ; Roy, K.

For ultra low power application, digital sub-threshold logic design has been explored. Extremely low power supply (VDD) of sub-threshold logic results in significant power reduction. However, it is difficult to convert signals from core logic to input/output (I/O) circuits since core VDD is vastly different from high I/O supply voltage. In this work, we propose a level converter based on dynamic logic style for sub-threshold I/O part, having a large dynamic range of conversion. For the level converter, high voltage clock signal needs to be delivered through separate clock path from core logic, leading to clock synchronization problem between high voltage and low voltage clocks. To overcome this issue, we employed a Clock Synchronizer. A test chip is fabricated in 130-nm CMOS technology in order to verify the proposed technique. Hardware measurement results show that the level converter successfully converts 0.3 V 8 MHz pulse to 2.5 V signal.

Published in:

Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 8 )