A Digital IC Design for Low Power Capacitance-to-Digital Converter

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0009-0005-2476-8908
Lee, Daehyun, Electrical Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Calhoun, Benton, EN-Elec & Comp Engr Dept, University of Virginia

The need for increased power efficiency and performance is gaining traction in modern electronics, especially in applications such as wearable technology, medical monitoring devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. These applications require components that not only save power but also maintain high accuracy and reliability. Unlike the notion of home appliances, which receive a steady supply of power, semiconductors used in wearable and Internet of Things technologies are continuously shrinking in size while targeting energy efficiency through low power consumption. For instance, surgical medical devices must be compact enough for body insertion while ensuring clear and reliable functionality. For healthcare wearables and Internet of Things sensors, miniaturization of semiconductors and peripheral devices is essential for the development of small and lightweight devices, and low-power operation is required. To meet these demands, efforts are needed to improve analog and digital data processing and efficiency along with miniaturization. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to integrate mixed signal circuits based on analog signal processing.
This paper introduces the development of a digital integrated circuit (IC) design for a low-power Capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC), uniquely blending digital and analog methodologies to address these requirements. The proposed design is a fusion of innovative digital signal processing techniques and energy-efficient circuit design with the goal of minimizing power consumption while maintaining the accuracy and functionality of the Capacitance-to-digital converter. This mixed-circuit approach not only promotes reduced power usage but also ensures high accuracy and reliability, crucial for sensitive applications. Digital signal processing technology is integrated to complement analog components and maintain a balance between power savings and signal integrity. Through simulation and experimental analysis, this design demonstrates multi-channel capabilities and improved power efficiency compared to existing Capacitance-to-digital converters, showing a significant increase in power efficiency at high operating frequencies. The paper also explores the broader implications of mixed circuit design, providing insight into potential applications and setting a precedent for future research on energy-efficient electronic design. The results of this study pave the way for further research in advancing the field of low-power mixed-signal integrated circuit design, especially in the context of multi-channel sensing technologies.

MS (Master of Science)
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