CHARACTERIZATION AND DESIGN OF ANALOG INTEGRATED CIRCUITS EXPLOITING ANALOG PLATFORMS

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Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) front end design is challenging because of the need to optimize power while satisfying a very high dynamic range requirement. At the same time, designing analog circuits for automotive applications is very difficult because of the wide temperature range (from -40 to 125 degrees at least) they must tolerate. Dealing with this design problems at the transistor level does not allow to explore efficiently the design space, while using behavioral models does not allow to take into consideration important second-order effects. We present an extension of the platform-based design methodology originally developed for digital systems to the analog domain to conjugate the need of higher levels of abstraction to deal with complexity as well as the one of capturing enough of the actual circuit-level characteristics to deal with second order effects. This methodology is based on the concept of Analog Platform and is very useful both to characterize an analog circuit and to perform a system level optimization. We show how this methodology applied to the UMTS front-end design yields power savings as large as 47% versus an original hand optimized design. Besides, we give details on how to design an RC oscillator for automotive applications and to get its main performances at the aim of characterizing it.