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Regulated On-Chip Voltage Converter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034957D
Original Publication Date: 1989-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Nguyen, Q: AUTHOR

Abstract

An on-chip and self-regulated semiconductor voltage converter circuit is disclosed which does not consume power in the standby state. As device technology scale-down theory predicts, the power supply voltage (Vdd) to a chip should be scaled down accordingly to sustain the same reliability. Conventional power conversion circuits utilize amplifier circuit schemes or other circuits to provide a regulated reference voltage, but these circuits typically consume a large amount of current because some devices must be kept in saturation during inactive periods to be kept operational. An on-chip voltage converter circuit is shown that allows the popular 5 volt supply voltage for semiconductors to be preserved while generating a reduced and self- regulated chip reference voltage without DC power required during standby. Referring to Fig.

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Regulated On-Chip Voltage Converter

An on-chip and self-regulated semiconductor voltage converter circuit is disclosed which does not consume power in the standby state. As device technology scale-down theory predicts, the power supply voltage (Vdd) to a chip should be scaled down accordingly to sustain the same reliability. Conventional power conversion circuits utilize amplifier circuit schemes or other circuits to provide a regulated reference voltage, but these circuits typically consume a large amount of current because some devices must be kept in saturation during inactive periods to be kept operational. An on-chip voltage converter circuit is shown that allows the popular 5 volt supply voltage for semiconductors to be preserved while generating a reduced and self- regulated chip reference voltage without DC power required during standby. Referring to Fig. 1, an external + 5 volt power supply is utilized and through the voltage converter is reduced to 2.6 volts on-chip. Devices T1 - T5 do not conduct simultaneous due to the voltage drop across each diode. T6 is used to pull node N4 up when the chip is being powered up. T7 is used to set N4 a threshold above ground initially. It should be noted that T6 and T7 are extremely small compared with T8. Once a chip is powered up and the reference voltage VREF reaches its final value, T6 and T7 no longer play an active role in the circuit operation. T9 and T10 are large output drivers used to regulate VREF, charging or dumping as VREF varies due to loading conditions. Node N1 is pulled below Vdd or 2.6 volts for a Vdd of 5 volts. T9 and T10 are kept at the edge of conduction, but not in the conduction region, to save current when in standby status. To prevent overlap current and save active power, either T9 or T10 but not both will conduct as VREF varies. As VREF varies due to loading conditions or noise injected into the circuit, self- regulating aspects of the converter circuit are brought into play as shown in Fig. 2a. As VREF starts to glitch up, T10 will turn on immediately because N4 is boosted up instantaneously by capacitor T8. As T10 turns on, the VREF glitch movement is restricted since now there is a sinking path to ground. Depen...