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Design and test of digitally-controlled power management IPs in advanced CMOS technologies

Bo Li 1 
Abstract : Owing to the development of modern semiconductor technology, it is possible to implement a digital controller for low-power high switching frequency DC-DC power converter in FPGA and ASIC. This thesis is intended to propose digital controllers with high performance, low power consumption and simple implementation architecture. Besides existing digital control-laws, such as PID, RST, tri-mode and sliding-mode (SM), a novel digital control-law, direct control with dual-state-variable prediction (DDP control), for the buck converter is proposed based on the principle of predictive control. Compared to traditional current-mode predictive control, the predictions of the inductor current and the output voltage are performed at the same time by adding a control variable to the DPWM signal. DDP control exhibits very high dynamic transient performances under both load variations and reference changes. Experimental results in FPGA verify the performances at switching frequency up to 4MHz. For the boost converter exhibiting more serious nonlinearity, linear PID and nonlinear SM controllers are designed and implemented in FPGA to verify the performances. A digital control requires a DPWM. Sigma-Delta DPWM is therefore a good candidate regarding the implementation complexity and performances. An idle-tone free condition for Sigma-Delta DPWM is considered to reduce the inherent tone-noise under DC-excitation compared to the classic approach. A guideline for Sigma-Delta DPWM helps to satisfy proposed condition. In addition, an 1-1 MASH Sigma-Delta DPWM with a feasible dither generation module is proposed to further restrain the idle-tone effect without deteriorating the closed-loop stability as well as to preserve a reasonable cost in hardware resources. The FPGA-based experimental results verify the performances of proposed DPWM in steady-state and transient-state. Two ASICs in 0.35µm CMOS process are implemented including the tri-mode controller for buck converter and the PID and SM controllers for the buck and boost converters respectively. The lab-scale tests are designed to lead to a power assessment model suggesting feasible applications. For the tri-mode controller, the measured power consumption is only 24.56mW/MHz when the time ratio of stand-by operation mode is 0.7. As specific power optimization strategies in RTL and system-level are applied to the latter chip, the measured power consumptions of the SM controllers for buck converter and boost converter are 4.46mW/MHz and 4.79mW/MHz respectively. The power consumption is foreseen as less than 1mW/MHz when the process scales down to nanometer technologies based on the power-scaling model. Compared to the state-of-the-art analog counterpart, the prototype ICs are proven to achieve comparable or even higher power efficiency for low-to-medium power applications with the benefit of better accuracy and better flexibility.
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Bo Li. Design and test of digitally-controlled power management IPs in advanced CMOS technologies. Other. INSA de Lyon, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ISAL0036⟩. ⟨tel-00782429⟩

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