The Advanced Integrated Sensing lab (ADVISE) is a research group at KU Leuven Geel Campus performing leading-edge research on radiation tolerant ICs since 2004.
The group has achieved important scientific results in characterization of advanced semiconductor components under radiation, modeling of radiation effects in circuit simulators and has presented several radiation hardened mixed-signal and analog integrated circuits.
ADVISE has its own RELY lab which allows electrical characterization and radiation experiments concerning total dose effects and single event upsets.
The research group has gained world-leading expertise in the design of radiation tolerant time-based circuits and is a member of the CMS collaboration at CERN.
Oscillators are the main building blocks for frequency generation and are widely used in communication systems, FPGAs and time-accurate systems.
In application such as spacecrafts and satellites, high-energy physics experiments like those installed on the HL-LHC(High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider) and Future Circular Collider (FCC) and nuclear instrumentation such as in the ITER (International ThermonuclearExperimental Reactor) fusion reactor, large amounts of ionizing radiation can cause sudden phase and frequency errors in the oscillator due to charges deposited by the particles.
Fortunately, advancements have been made in the reliability of PLLs over the past 30 years and major improvements were achieved when migrating towards All-Digital PLLs (ADPLL) in which the feedback loop is implemented entirely digitally by replacing sensitive analog blocks (such as charge pumps) with redundant digital filters.
Henceforth, the critical circuit remains the oscillator which still operates in analog mode.
Classically, the oscillator’ scapacitance is increased to reduce its sensitivity to Single-Event PhaseTransients (SEPT) at the cost of a larger power consumption.
However, the phase excursion is time variant and associated with an Impulse SensitivityFunction (ISF), which is periodic with the oscillation frequency and is positive or negative depending on the charge injection moment.
The main goal and novel idea of this project is to research new circuit methodologies to exploit this time variance and to spread the charge collection across one or multiple oscillation periods to cancel the accumulated phase errors (Phase Error Cancellation), minimizing its total error.
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