On frequency-based interface circuits for capacitive MEMS accelerometers

Zhiliang Qiao (Corresponding Author), Boris A. Boom, Anne J. Annema, Remco J. Wiegerink, Bram Nauta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
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    Interface circuits for capacitive MEMS accelerometers are conventionally based on charge-based approaches. A promising alternative to these is provided by frequency-based readout techniques that have some unique advantages as well as a few challenges associated with them. This paper addresses these techniques and presents a derivation of the fundamental resolution limits that are imposed on them by phase noise. Starting with an overview of basic operating principles, associated properties and challenges, the discussions then focus on the fundamental trade-offs between noise, power dissipation and signal bandwidth (BW) for the LC-oscillator-based frequency readout and for the conventional charge-based switched-capacitor (SC) readout. Closed-form analytical formulas are derived to facilitate a fair comparison between the two approaches. Benchmarking results indicate that, with the same bandwidth requirement, charge-based readout circuits are more suitable when optimizing for noise performance, while there is still some room for frequency-based techniques when optimizing for power consumption, especially when flicker phase noise can be mitigated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number488
    Number of pages21
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2018


    • Oscillator
    • Frequency
    • Interface
    • Readout
    • MEMS
    • Capacitive
    • Accelerometer
    • Noise
    • Power
    • Bandwidth
    • UT-Gold-D


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