Low noise, low power interface circuits and systems for high frequency resonant micro-gyroscopes

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Dalal, Milap
Ayazi, Farrokh
Allen, Mark G.
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Today's state-of-the-art rate vibratory gyroscopes use a large proof mass that vibrates at a low resonance frequency (3-30 kHz), a condition that creates a performance tradeoff in which the gyroscope can either offer large bandwidth or high resolution, but not both. This tradeoff led to the development of the capacitive bulk acoustic wave (BAW) silicon disk gyroscope, a new class of micromachined rate vibratory gyroscopes operating in the frequency range of 1-10MHz with high device bandwidth and shock/vibration tolerance. By scaling the frequency, BAW gyroscopes can provide low mechanical noise without sacrificing the high bandwidth performance needed for most commercial applications. The drive loop of the BAW gyroscope can also be exploited as a timing device that can be integrated in existing commercial systems to provide competitive clock performance to the state-of-the-art using less area and power. This dissertation discusses the design and implementation of a CMOS ASIC architecture that interfaces with a high-Q, wide-bandwidth BAW gyroscope and the challenges associated with optimizing the noise performance to achieve navigation-grade levels of sensitivity as the frequency is scaled into the MHz regime. Mathematical models are derived to describe the operation of the sensor and are used to generate equivalent electrical circuit models of the gyroscope. A design strategy is then outlined for the ASIC to optimize the drive loop and sense channel for power and noise, and steps toward reducing this noise as the system is pushed to navigation-grade performance are presented that maintain optimum system power consumption. After analyzing the BAW gyroscope and identifying a strategy for developing the drive and sense interface circuitry, a complete fully-differential ASIC is designed in 0.18μm CMOS to interface with a bulk acoustic wave (BAW) disk gyroscope. As an oscillator, the gyroscope provides an uncompensated clock signal at ~9.64 MHz with a temperature sensitivity of -27 ppm/°C and phase noise of -104 dBc at 1 kHz from carrier. When the complete ASIC is interfaced with the gyroscope, the sensor shows a measured rate sensitivity of 1.15 mV/o/s with an open-loop bandwidth of 280 Hz and a bias instability of 0.095 o/s, suitable for the rate-grade performance commonly required for commercial and consumer electronics applications. The system is recorded to have a total power of 1.6 mW and a total area of 0.64 mm2. Following the design of the interface ASIC, this dissertation investigates in further detail the requirements for designing and optimizing charge pumps for capacitive MEMS devices. Basic charge pump design is outlined, followed by an overview of techniques that can be used to generate larger polarization voltages from the ASIC. Lastly, an alternate measurement technique for measuring the rotation rate of the gyroscope is discussed. This technique is based on the phase-shift modulation of the gyroscope output signal when the device is driven with two orthogonal signal inputs and can be easily modified to provide either linear scale factor measurement or a linear calibration curve that can be used to track and adjust the variation of the sensor scale factor over time.
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