Time-Based Techniques for the Design of Area-Efficient and Robust CMOS Sensor Interface Circuits
The main aim of the thesis work is to explore novel architectures, circuit topologies and digitally-assisted techniques for energy-efficient, low-cost and highly-reliable sensor interface integrated circuits. To achieve this, highly-digital time-based structures are explored. Our approach aims to use CMOS, a low-cost and widely available fabrication platform, to demonstrate the sensor interface design concepts, which can also be compatible with emerging technologies. Time-based solutions are focused upon in this work, because of their highly-digital nature, hence resulting in small chip areas and good process scalability. Since modern sensor systems are used in many environments, ranging from indoor domestic applications to harsh environments including automotive parts, industrial monitoring systems and space missions, it is difficult to control all the possible environmental conditions in which these systems will operate. Therefore, another cornerstone of this thesis is the realization of CMOS time-based sensor interfaces that have an inherent robustness and can detect and compensate the environmental effects on their operation.