The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) poses stringent requirements on the energy consumption and has hence become the primary driver for low-power analog and RF circuit design. Implementation of increasingly complex functions under highly constrained power and area budgets, while circumventing the challenges posed by modern device technologies, makes analog and RF circuit design ever more challenging. Some guidance would therefore be invaluable for the designer to navigate the multi-variable design space.
This talk presents low-power analog and RF design techniques that can be applied from device to circuit level. It starts with the presentation of the concept of inversion coefficient IC as an essential design parameter that spans the entire range of operating points from weak via moderate to strong inversion. Several figures-of-merit (FoM) including the Gm/ID, the Ft and their product Gm ‧ Ft/ID, capturing the various trade-offs encountered in analog and RF circuit design are presented. The simplicity of the IC-based models is emphasized and compared against measurements of 40- and 28-nm bulk CMOS processes and BSIM6 simulations. Finally, a simple technique to extract the basic model parameters from measurements or simulation is described before concluding.