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Dr Themis Prodromakis

University of Southampton
Nano Group, Southampton Nanofabrication Centre
Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
+44 (0)23 8059 8803

A 0.35um Sub-ns Wake-up Time ON-OFF Switchable LVDS Driver-Receiver Chip I/O Pad Pair for Rate-Dependent Power Saving in AER Bit-Serial Links

Authors: C. Zamarreño-Ramos, T. Serrano-Gotarredona, and B. Linares-Barranco

Published by: IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems

This paper presents a low power switchable current mode driver/receiver I/O pair for high speed serial transmission of asynchronous address event representation (AER) information. The sparse nature of AER packets (also called events) allows driver/receiver bias currents to be switched off to save power. The on/off times must be lower than the bit time to minimize the latency introduced by the switching mechanism. Using this technique, the link power consumption can be scaled down with the event rate without compromising the maximum system throughput. The proposed technique has been implemented on a typical push/pull low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) circuit, but it can easily be extended to other widely used current mode standards, such as current mode logic (CML) or low-voltage positive emitter-coupled logic (LVPECL). A proof of concept prototype has been fabricated in 0.35 μm CMOS incorporating the proposed driver/receiver pair along with a previously reported switchable serializer/deserializer scheme. At a 500 Mbps bit rate, the maximum event rate is 11 Mevent/s for 32-bit events. In this situation, current consumption is 7.5 mA and 9.6 mA for the driver and receiver, respectively, while differential voltage amplitude is ±300 mV. However, if event rate is lower than 20-30 Kevent/s, current consumption has a floor of 270 μA for the driver and 570 μA for the receiver. The measured ON/OFF switching times are in the order of 1 ns. The serial link could be operated at up to 710 Mbps bit rate, resulting in a maximum 32-bit event rate of 15 Mevent/s . This is the same peak event rate as that obtained with the same SerDes circuits and a non-switched driver/receiver pair.

Funding Research Councils:
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