BRIGE: Development of Self-Programmable CMOS Analog Circuits and Systems
Today's stringent low-power requirements, along with the reduced signal swing, present a non-trivial problem for analog circuit designers. Additionally, the increasing device mismatch, do to technology scaling, have forced designers to look for alternate design approaches. Programmable/reconfigurable electronics, used in the analog domain, have recently emerged as a viable solution for these problems.
Intellectual Merit: The proposed research aims to advance the state of the art in analog circuit design through the development of self-programmable analog memory elements. The main effort of this work will center on developing a circuit infrastructure that will allow for automated programming of reconfigurable circuits. The proposed architecture seeks to abstract the programming issues from the designer, thus greatly simplifying the use of these devices. The developed self-programmable architecture will lay the foundation needed for developing novel high-performance programmable/reconfigurable circuits and systems by taking care of the programming issues involved with floating-gate transistors. Additionally, this work will use the developed architecture as a new tool to design novel high-performance analog circuits. The proposed self-programmable memory will also be incorporated in the design of large-scale field-programmable arrays, thus enabling faster programming cycles. The intellectual merit of this research includes the design and development of: 1) an on-chip self-programmable circuit infrastructure for analog memories and reconfigurable systems, 2) a programmable temperature insensitive voltage/current reference, 3) a programmable low-dropout voltage regulator, and 4) a large-scale field-programmable analog array for fast programming cycles.
Broader Impacts: The proposed research effort will have broad impact by developing a core architecture for self-programmable reconfigurable circuits and systems that will be widely used by circuit designers in the analog community. The developed architecture will become a new tool that will allow designers to overcome the research challenges present in today's technology. From an educational perspective, the proposed work will provide research experience to senior undergraduate and graduate students, at the University of Puerto Rico - MayagÃ¼ez, in the design, fabrication, and testing of microelectronic devices. This experience will definitely complement their academic preparation, allowing for the training of the next generation of Hispanic professionals in the area of integrated circuit design. In addition, the support of the research and educational activities outlined in this proposal will help the establishment of the Electrical Engineering doctoral program at the University of Puerto Rico - MayagÃ¼ez, thus promoting and increasing minority participation in engineering research.