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Comparison and Evaluation of Existing Analog Circuit Simulator using Sigma-Delta Modulator

Description: In the world of VLSI (very large scale integration) technology, there are many different types of circuit simulators that are used to design and predict the circuit behavior before actual fabrication of the circuit. In this thesis, I compared and evaluated existing circuit simulators by considering standard benchmark circuits. The circuit simulators which I evaluated and explored are Ngspice, Tclspice, Winspice (open source) and Spectre® (commercial). I also tested standard benchmarks using these circuit simulators and compared their outputs. The simulators are evaluated using design metrics in order to quantify their performance and identify efficient circuit simulators. In addition, I designed a sigma-delta modulator and its individual components using the analog behavioral language Verilog-A. Initially, I performed simulations of individual components of the sigma-delta modulator and later of the whole system. Finally, CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) transistor-level circuits were designed for the differential amplifier, operational amplifier and comparator of the modulator.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Ale, Anil Kumar

Design and Optimization of Components in a 45nm CMOS Phase Locked Loop

Description: A novel scheme of optimizing the individual components of a phase locked loop (PLL) which is used for stable clock generation and synchronization of signals is considered in this work. Verilog-A is used for the high level system design of the main components of the PLL, followed by the individual component wise optimization. The design of experiments (DOE) approach to optimize the analog, 45nm voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) is presented. Also a mixed signal analysis using the analog and digital Verilog behavior of components is studied. Overall a high level system design of a PLL, a systematic optimization of each of its components, and an analog and mixed signal behavioral design approach have been implemented using cadence custom IC design tools.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Sarivisetti, Gayathri

A Dual Dielectric Approach for Performance Aware Reduction of Gate Leakage in Combinational Circuits

Description: Design of systems in the low-end nanometer domain has introduced new dimensions in power consumption and dissipation in CMOS devices. With continued and aggressive scaling, using low thickness SiO2 for the transistor gates, gate leakage due to gate oxide direct tunneling current has emerged as the major component of leakage in the CMOS circuits. Therefore, providing a solution to the issue of gate oxide leakage has become one of the key concerns in achieving low power and high performance CMOS VLSI circuits. In this thesis, a new approach is proposed involving dual dielectric of dual thicknesses (DKDT) for the reducing both ON and OFF state gate leakage. It is claimed that the simultaneous utilization of SiON and SiO2 each with multiple thicknesses is a better approach for gate leakage reduction than the conventional usage of a single gate dielectric (SiO2), possibly with multiple thicknesses. An algorithm is developed for DKDT assignment that minimizes the overall leakage for a circuit without compromising with the performance. Extensive experiments were carried out on ISCAS'85 benchmarks using 45nm technology which showed that the proposed approach can reduce the leakage, as much as 98% (in an average 89.5%), without degrading the performance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Mukherjee, Valmiki

Energy-Aware Time Synchronization in Wireless Sensor Networks

Description: I present a time synchronization algorithm for wireless sensor networks that aims to conserve sensor battery power. The proposed method creates a hierarchical tree by flooding the sensor network from a designated source point. It then uses a hybrid algorithm derived from the timing-sync protocol for sensor networks (TSPN) and the reference broadcast synchronization method (RBS) to periodically synchronize sensor clocks by minimizing energy consumption. In multi-hop ad-hoc networks, a depleted sensor will drop information from all other sensors that route data through it, decreasing the physical area being monitored by the network. The proposed method uses several techniques and thresholds to maintain network connectivity. A new root sensor is chosen when the current one's battery power decreases to a designated value. I implement this new synchronization technique using Matlab and show that it can provide significant power savings over both TPSN and RBS.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Saravanos, Yanos

Modeling and reduction of gate leakage during behavioral synthesis of nanoscale CMOS circuits.

Description: The major sources of power dissipation in a nanometer CMOS circuit are capacitive switching, short-circuit current, static leakage and gate oxide tunneling. However, with the aggressive scaling of technology the gate oxide direct tunneling current (gate leakage) is emerging as a prominent component of power dissipation. For sub-65 nm CMOS technology where the gate oxide (SiO2) thickness is very low, the direct tunneling current is the major form of tunneling. There are two contribution parts in this thesis: analytical modeling of behavioral level components for direct tunneling current and propagation delay, and the reduction of tunneling current during behavioral synthesis. Gate oxides of multiple thicknesses are useful in reducing the gate leakage dissipation. Analytical models from first principles to calculate the tunneling current and the propagation delay of behavioral level components is presented, which are backed by BSIM4/5 models and SPICE simulations. These components are characterized for 45 nm technology and an algorithm is provided for scheduling of datapath operations such that the overall tunneling current dissipation of a datapath circuit under design is minimal. It is observed that the oxide thickness that is being considered is very low it may not remain constant during the course of fabrication. Hence the algorithm takes process variation into consideration. Extensive experiments are conducted for various behavioral level benchmarks under various constraints and observed significant reductions, as high as 75.3% (with an average of 64.3%).
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Velagapudi, Ramakrishna

Timing and Congestion Driven Algorithms for FPGA Placement

Description: Placement is one of the most important steps in physical design for VLSI circuits. For field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), the placement step determines the location of each logic block. I present novel timing and congestion driven placement algorithms for FPGAs with minimal runtime overhead. By predicting the post-routing timing-critical edges and estimating congestion accurately, this algorithm is able to simultaneously reduce the critical path delay and the minimum number of routing tracks. The core of the algorithm consists of a criticality-history record of connection edges and a congestion map. This approach is applied to the 20 largest Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) benchmark circuits. Experimental results show that compared with the state-of-the-art FPGA place and route package, the Versatile Place and Route (VPR) suite, this algorithm yields an average of 8.1% reduction (maximum 30.5%) in the critical path delay and 5% reduction in channel width. Meanwhile, the average runtime of the algorithm is only 2.3X as of VPR.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Zhuo, Yue

VLSI Architecture and FPGA Prototyping of a Secure Digital Camera for Biometric Application

Description: This thesis presents a secure digital camera (SDC) that inserts biometric data into images found in forms of identification such as the newly proposed electronic passport. However, putting biometric data in passports makes the data vulnerable for theft, causing privacy related issues. An effective solution to combating unauthorized access such as skimming (obtaining data from the passport's owner who did not willingly submit the data) or eavesdropping (intercepting information as it moves from the chip to the reader) could be judicious use of watermarking and encryption at the source end of the biometric process in hardware like digital camera or scanners etc. To address such issues, a novel approach and its architecture in the framework of a digital camera, conceptualized as an SDC is presented. The SDC inserts biometric data into passport image with the aid of watermarking and encryption processes. The VLSI (very large scale integration) architecture of the functional units of the SDC such as watermarking and encryption unit is presented. The result of the hardware implementation of Rijndael advanced encryption standard (AES) and a discrete cosine transform (DCT) based visible and invisible watermarking algorithm is presented. The prototype chip can carry out simultaneous encryption and watermarking, which to our knowledge is the first of its kind. The encryption unit has a throughput of 500 Mbit/s and the visible and invisible watermarking unit has a max frequency of 96.31 MHz and 256 MHz respectively.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Adamo, Oluwayomi Bamidele