Dual Use of Power Lines for Design-for-Testability–A CMOS Receiver Design

As the circuit complexity increases, the number of internal nodes increases proportionally, and individual internal nodes are less accessible due to the limited number of available I/O pins. To address the problem, we proposed power line communications (PLCs) at the IC level, specifically the dual use of power pins and power distribution networks for application/observation of test data as well as delivery of power. A PLC receiver presented in this paper intends to demonstrate the proof of concept, specifically the transmission of data through power lines.

The main design objective of the proposed PLC receiver is the robust operation under variations and droops of the supply voltage rather than high data speed. The PLC receiver is designed and fabricated in CMOS 0.18-μm technology under a supply voltage of 1.8 V. The measurement results show that the receiver can tolerate a voltage drop of up to 0.423 V for a data rate of 10 Mb/s. The power dissipation of the receiver is 3.26 mW under 1.8 V supply, and the core area of the receiver is 74.9 μm x 72.2 μm.

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