From: D. C. Sessions (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Nov 03 1999 - 06:50:31 PST
Larry Miller wrote:
> Our 1 Gb Ethernet SERDES chips have gone over from bipolar to CMOS "PECL".
> We had some trouble with early versions latching up.
> Have you had to allow for this?
You always have to watch out for latchup in CMOS. Depending on the
process and output structures used it ranges from a nightmare to a
routine diligence issue. VLSI always used a bulk P- material and
was therefore very susceptible from a process standpoint, making up
the difference with design features such as dummy collectors and
The current PECL outputs are 100% N-channel and thus inherently
latchup immune. Doesn't mean that things couldn't change next
time around, assuming I lose the fight to ditch the stupid things.
> At 09:37 AM 11/2/99 -0700, you wrote:
> >Jayarama Shenoy wrote:
> >> Hi All,
> >> Can someone provide insight into PECL output buffer
> >> implementation in CMOS tecnologies? It is being claimed
> >> that this cannot be done while at the same time retaining
> >> the power supply noise rejection of differential output
> >> drivers, which I find hard to understand.
> >> Any pointers to public literature on PECL (or similar diff-
> >> erential) output drivers in CMOS will be greatly appreciated.
> >Hey, Jay.
> >PECL can most certainly be done in CMOS. That, or the ones I'm
> >shipping use previously-unknown laws of physics. As for telling
> >YOU the details, you now need an NDA. Should've asked before you
> >Seriously, what your sources were referring to was that since CMOS
> >doesn't make efficient low-offset pullup followers the way bipolar
> >does, you don't get the benefits of hanging the positive rail on
> >the high-impedance collector (or drain) node of the transistor.
> >The high impedance of the collector node means that voltage noise
> >on the positive rail doesn't show up as current noice on the output.
> >The hidden assumption here is that the CMOS output follower has to
> >run on the same supply as the predriver. Where bipolar thrives on
> >small base-emitter voltages, MOS devices need more voltage bias and
> >the voltages available in PECL aren't well-chosen for this. (Duh!)
> >On the other hand, nowhere is it written in stone that the positive
> >rail for PECL has to be +5 volts. 2.5 volts with a 3.3 volt predriver
> >gives an output common-mode point of about 1.2 volts, which is by
> >astonishing coincidence also (a) centered in the rails, and (b) the
> >common-mode point for LVDS. Astonishing. And along with this comes
> >a high-state Vgs of 1.5 volts, which is enough to make a reasonable
> >NMOS output device happy without desaturating it.
> >Another possibility is to run open-drain. If you absolutely need the
> >speed, this is nice because you don't have to coordinate the pullup
> >an pulldown devices.
> >The reference supply voltage for PECL is a system tradeoff. Personally,
> >the more I work with PECL the more unprintable things I find to say
> >about it. That acronym lends itself to some amazing abuse, let me
> >tell you. If you have *anything* resembling a choice, run (don't walk)
> >to a more sensible scheme like HSTL or GLVDS. A lot of the 'PECL'
> >applications I'm seeing actually don't require PECL and would work fine
> >with almost any low-swing differential scheme.
> >D. C. Sessions
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