Voltage Reference Architectures For Harsh Environments: Quantum Computing And Space


A technical paper titled “Cryo-CMOS Voltage References for the Ultrawide Temperature Range From 300 K Down to 4.2 K” was published by researchers at Delft University of Technology, QuTech, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).


“This article presents a family of sub-1-V, fully-CMOS voltage references adopting MOS devices in weak inversion to achieve continuous operation from room temperature (RT) down to cryogenic temperatures. Their accuracy limitations due to curvature, body effect, and mismatch are investigated and experimentally validated. Implemented in 40-nm CMOS, the references show a line regulation better than 2.7%/V from a supply as low as 0.99 V. By applying dynamic element matching (DEM) techniques, a spread of 1.2% (3 σ ) from 4.2 to 300 K can be achieved, resulting in a temperature coefficient (TC) of 111 ppm/K. As the first significant statistical characterization extending down to cryogenic temperatures, the results demonstrate the ability of the proposed architectures to work under cryogenic harsh environments, such as space-and quantum-computing applications.”

Find the technical paper here. Published April 2024.

J. van Staveren et al., “Cryo-CMOS Voltage References for the Ultrawide Temperature Range From 300 K Down to 4.2 K,” in IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, doi: 10.1109/JSSC.2024.3378768.

Further Reading
The Race Toward Quantum Advantage
Enormous amounts of money have been invested into quantum computing, but so far it has not surpassed conventional computers. When will that change?
Managing P/P Tradeoffs With Voltage Droop Gets Trickier
Higher current densities set against lower power envelopes makes meeting specs more challenging, especially at advanced nodes.

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