Application of Floating-Gate Transistors in Field Programmable Analog Arrays

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Gray, Jordan D.
Hasler, Jennifer
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Floating-gate transistors similar to those used in FLASH and EEPROM can be used to build reconfigurable analog arrays. The charge on the floating gate can be modified to pass or block a signal in a cross-bar switch matrix, or it can be finely tuned to eliminate a threshold difference across a chip or set a bias. By using such a compact and versatile reconfigurable analog memory element, the number of analog circuit components included on an integrated circuit that is field-programmable is significantly higher. As a result, large-scale FPAAs can be built with the same impact on analog design that FPGAs have had on digital design. In my research, I investigate the areas floating-gate transistors can be used to impact FPAA design and implementation. An FPAA can be broken up into two basic components, elements of connection and elements of computation. With respect to connection, I show that a floating-gate switch can be used in a cross-bar matrix in place of a transmission gate resulting in less parasitic capacitance and a more linear resistance for the same size transistor. I illuminate the programming issues relating to injecting a floating-gate for use as a switch, including the drain selection circuitry and rogue injection due to gate induced drain leakage. With respect to computation, I explain how a Multiple-Input Translinear Element, or MITE, can be augmented to fit in an FPAA framework. I also discuss two different MITE implementations compatible with CMOS technology, a subthreshold MOS design and a BJT MITE that uses a lateral BJT. Beyond FPAA components, I present two alternative FPAA systems. The first is a general purpose reconfigurable analog system that uses standard analog design components that have been augmented with floating-gates. The second FPAA is built upon MITE circuits, and is focused on supporting direct system synthesis. I conclude with a discussion of a future large-scale MITE FPAA.
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