High efficiency wide-band line drivers in low voltage CMOS using Class-D techniques
Maughan, Steven Ashley
In this thesis, the applicability of Class-D amplifiers to integrated wide-band communication line driver applications is studied. While Class-D techniques can address some of the efficiency limitations of linear amplifier structures and have shown promising results in low frequency applications, the low frequency techniques and knowledge need further development in order to improve their practicality for wide band systems. New structures and techniques to extend the application of Class-D to wide-band communication systems, in particular the HomePlug AV wire- line communication standard, will be proposed. Additionally, the digital processing requirements of these wide-band systems drives rapid movement towards nanometer technology nodes and presents new challenges which will be addressed, and new opportunities which will be exploited, for wide-band integrated Class-D line drivers. There are three main contributions of this research. First, a model of Class-D efficiency degradation mechanisms is created, which allows the impact of high-level design choices such as supply voltage, process technology and operating frequency to be assessed. The outcome of this section is a strategy for pushing the high efficiency of Class-D to wide band communication applications, with switching frequencies up to many hundreds of Megahertz. A second part of this research considers the design of efficient, fast and high power Class-D output stages, as these are the major efficiency and bandwidth bottleneck in wide-band applications. A novel NMOS-only totem pole output stage with a fast, integrated drive structure will be proposed. In a third section, a complete wide-band Class-D line driver is designed in a 0.13μm digital CMOS process. The line driver is systematically designed using a rigorous development methodology and the aims are to maximise the achievable signal bandwidth while minimising power dissipation. Novel circuits and circuit structures are proposed as part of this section and the resulting fabricated Class-D line driver test chip shows an efficiency of 15% while driving a 30MHz wide signal with an MTPR of 22dB, at 33mW injected power.