This paper presents a 20 Mfps 32 × 84 pixels CMOS burst-mode imager featuring high frame depth with a passive in-pixel amplifier. Compared to the CCD alternatives, CMOS burst-mode imagers are attractive for their low power consumption and integration of circuitry such as ADCs. Due to storage capacitor size and its noise limitations, CMOS burst-mode imagers usually suffer from a lower frame depth than CCD implementations. In order to capture fast transitions over a longer time span, an in-pixel CDS technique has been adopted to reduce the required memory cells for each frame by half. Moreover, integrated with in-pixel CDS, an in-pixel NMOS-only passive amplifier alleviates the kTC noise requirements of the memory bank allowing the usage of smaller capacitors. Specifically, a dense 108-cell MOS memory bank (10fF/cell) has been implemented inside a 30μm pitch pixel, with an area of 25 × 30μm2 occupied by the memory bank. There is an improvement of about 4x in terms of frame depth per pixel area by applying in-pixel CDS and amplification. With the amplifier’s gain of 3.3, an FD input-referred RMS noise of 1mV is achieved at 20 Mfps operation. While the amplification is done without burning DC current, including the pixel source follower biasing, the full pixel consumes 10μA at 3.3V supply voltage at full speed. The chip has been fabricated in imec’s 130nm CMOS CIS technology.
In this paper, we present a layout and performance analysis of logic and SRAM circuits for vertical and lateral GAA FETs using 5nm (iN5) design rules. Extreme ultra-violet lithography (EUVL) processes are exploited to print the critical features: 32 nm gate pitch and 24 nm metal pitch. Layout architectures and patterning compromises for enabling the 5nm node will be discussed in details. A distinct standard-cell template for vertical FETs is proposed and elaborated for the first time. To assess electrical performances, a BSIM-CMG model has been developed and calibrated with TCAD simulations, which accounts for the quasi-ballistic transport in the nanowire channel. The results show that the inbound power rail layout construct for vertical devices could achieve the highest density while the interleaving diffusion template can maximize the port accessibility. By using a representative critical path circuit of a generic low power SoCs, it is shown that the VFET-based circuit is 40% more energy efficient than LFET designs at iso-performance. Regarding SRAMs, benefits given by vertical channel orientation in VFETs has reduced the SRAM area by 20%~30% compared to lateral SRAMs. A double exposures with EUV canner is needed to reach a minimum tip-to-tip (T2T) of 16 nm for middle-of-line (MOL) layers. To enable HD SRAMs with two metal layers, a fully self-aligned gate contact for LFETs and 2D routing of the top electrode for VFETs are required. The standby leakage of vertical SRAMs is 4~6X lower than LFET-based SRAMs at iso-performance and iso-area. The minimum operating voltage (Vmin) of vertical SRAMs is 170 mV lower than lateral SRAMs. A high-density SRAM bitcell of 0.014 um2 can be obtained for the iN5 technology node, which fully follows the SRAM scaling trend for the 45nm nodes and beyond.
Crosstalk from digital to analog in mixed-signal ICs is recognized as one of the major roadblocks for systems-on-chip (SoC) in future CMOS technologies. This crosstalk mainly happens via the semiconducting silicon substrate, which is usually treated as a ground node by analog and RF designers. The substrate noise coupling problem leads more and more to malfunctioning or extra design iterations. One of the reasons is that the phenomenon of substrate noise coupling is difficult to model and hence difficult to understand. It can be caused by the switching of thousands or millions of gates and depends on layout details. From the generation side (the digital domain), coping with the large amount of noise generators can be solved by macromodeling. On the other hand, the impact of substrate noise on the analog circuits requires careful modeling at the level of transistors and parasitics of layout, power supply, package, PCB, Comparison to measurements of macromodeling at the digital side and careful modeling at the analog side, shows that both the generation and the impact of substrate noise can be predicted with an accuracy of a few dB. In addition, this combination of macromodeling at the digital side and careful modeling at the analog side leads to an understanding of the problem, which can be used for digital low-noise design techniques to minimize the generation of noise, and substrate noise immune design of analog/RF circuits.