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Optimal design of a CMOS op-amp via geometric programming

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3 Author(s)
M. delM. Hershenson ; Barcelona Design Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; S. P. Boyd ; T. H. Lee

We describe a new method for determining component values and transistor dimensions for CMOS operational amplifiers (op-amps). We observe that a wide variety of design objectives and constraints have a special form, i.e., they are posynomial functions of the design variables. As a result, the amplifier design problem can be expressed as a special form of optimization problem called geometric programming, for which very efficient global optimization methods have been developed. As a consequence we can efficiently determine globally optimal amplifier designs or globally optimal tradeoffs among competing performance measures such as power, open-loop gain, and bandwidth. Our method, therefore, yields completely automated sizing of (globally) optimal CMOS amplifiers, directly from specifications. In this paper, we apply this method to a specific widely used operational amplifier architecture, showing in detail how to formulate the design problem as a geometric program. We compute globally optimal tradeoff curves relating performance measures such as power dissipation, unity-gain bandwidth, and open-loop gain. We show how the method can he used to size robust designs, i.e., designs guaranteed to meet the specifications for a variety of process conditions and parameters

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )