Power Efficient Gigabit Communication Over Capacitively Driven RC-Limited On-Chip Interconnects

E. Mensink, Daniel Schinkel, Eric A.M. Klumperink, Adrianus Johannes Maria van Tuijl, Bram Nauta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    73 Citations (Scopus)
    146 Downloads (Pure)


    Abstract—This paper presents a set of circuit techniques to achieve high data rate point-to-point communication over long on-chip RC-limited wire-pairs. The ideal line termination impedances for a flat transfer function with linear phase (pure delay) are derived, using an s-parameter wire-pair model. It is shown that a driver with series capacitance on the one hand and a resistive load on the other, are fair approximations of these ideal terminations in the frequency range of interest. From a perspective of power efficiency, a capacitive driver is preferred, as the series capacitance reduces the voltage swing along the line which reduces dynamic power consumption. To reduce cross-talk and maintain data integrity, parallel differential interconnects with alternatingly one or two twists are used. In combination with a low offset dynamic sense amplifier at the receiver, and a low-power decision feedback equalization technique with analog feedback, gigabit communication is demonstrated at very low power consumption. A point-to-point link on a 90 nm CMOS test chip achieves 2 Gb/s over 10 mm long interconnects, while consuming 0.28 pJ/bit corresponding to 28 fJ/bit/mm, which is much lower than competing designs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)447-457
    Number of pages11
    JournalIEEE journal of solid-state circuits
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


    • networks on chip
    • on-chip interconnects
    • on-chip wires
    • communication techniques
    • low power electronics
    • low-swing
    • de-emphasis
    • decision feedback equalization
    • pre-emphasis
    • EWI-18144
    • Equalization
    • RC-limited interconnects
    • NoC
    • METIS-270913
    • IR-73655
    • Capacitive coupling
    • CMOS


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