Modelling and Analysis of Substrate Noise in Delta Sigma ADCs

University essay from KTH/Skolan för informations- och kommunikationsteknik (ICT)

Abstract: The rapid development in the semiconductors industry has enabled the placement of multiple chips on a single die. This has helped boost the functionality of modernday application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Thus, digital circuits are being increasingly placed along-side analog and RF circuits in what are known as mixed signal circuits. As a result, the noise couplings through the substrate now have an increased role in mixed-signal ASIC design. Therefore, there is a need to study the effects of substrate noise and include them in the traditional design methodology. ∆Σ analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are a perfect example of digital integration in traditionally analog circuits. ADCs, used to interface digital circuits to an analog world, are indispensable in mixed-signal systems and therefore set an interesting case study. A ∆Σ ADC is used in this thesis to study the effects of substrate noise. A background study is presented in the thesis to better understand ∆Σ modulators and substrate couplings. An intensive theoretical background on generation, propagation and reception of substrate noise is presented in light of existing researches. System and behavioural level models are proposed to include the effects of substrate noise in the design stages. A maximum decay of 10dB is seen due to injection of substrate noise system level simulations while a decay of 12dB is seen in behavioural simulations. A solution is proposed using controlled clock tree delays to overcome the effects of substrate noise. The solution is verified on both the system and behavioural levels. The noise models used to drive the studies can further be used in mixed-signal systems to design custom solutions.

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