Design Techniques for High Performance Serial Link Transceivers
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Increasing data rates over electrical channels with significant frequency-dependent loss is difficult due to excessive inter-symbol interference (ISI). In order to achieve sufficient link margins at high rates, I/O system designers implement equalization in the transmitters and are motivated to consider more spectrally-efficient modulation formats relative to the common PAM-2 scheme, such as PAM-4 and duobinary. The first work, reviews when to consider PAM-4 and duobinary formats, as the modulation scheme which yields the highest system margins at a given data rate is a function of the channel loss profile, and presents a 20Gb/s triple-mode transmitter capable of efficiently implementing these three modulation schemes and three-tap feedforward equalization. A statistical link modeling tool, which models ISI, crosstalk, random noise, and timing jitter, is developed to compare the three common modulation formats operating on electrical backplane channel models. In order to improve duobinary modulation efficiency, a low-power quarter-rate duobinary precoder circuit is proposed which provides significant timing margin improvement relative to full-rate precoders. Also as serial I/O data rates scale above 10 Gb/s, crosstalk between neighboring channels degrades system bit-error rate (BER) performance. The next work presents receive-side circuitry which merges the cancellation of both near-end and far-end crosstalk (NEXT/FEXT) and can automatically adapt to different channel environments and variations in process, voltage, and temperature. NEXT cancellation is realized with a novel 3-tap FIR filter which combines two traditional FIR filter taps and a continuous-time band-pass filter IIR tap for efficient crosstalk cancellation, with all filter tap coefficients automatically determined via an ondie sign-sign least-mean-square (SS-LMS) adaptation engine. FEXT cancellation is realized by coupling the aggressor signal through a differentiator circuit whose gain is automatically adjusted with a power-detection-based adaptation loop. In conclusion, the proposed architectures in the transmitter side and receiver side together are to be good solution in the high speed I/O serial links to improve the performance by overcome the physical channel loss and adjacent channel noise as the system becomes complicated.
Min, Byungho (2017). Design Techniques for High Performance Serial Link Transceivers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from