University of Delaware - College of Engineering


Computer Systems

Driver and receiver circuits for extremely low-power and low electromagnetic interference (EMI) multi-gigabit electrical signaling for small portable and mobile equipment

Fouad Kiamilev

Portable handheld devices, including mobile phones, portable entertainment consoles, personal digital assistants (PDA), global positioning systems (GPS) and mobile gaming devices are at a crossroads in their architectural evolution. The explosion of compute intensive applications, multiple wireless standards (GSM, CDMA, TDMA), camera phones, 3-D graphics interfaces, high-resolution and high-color displays place tremendous pressure on system designers to keep cost, power, size and emitted electromagnetic radiation low. Electrical signaling interfaces operating at several hundred megabit per second data rates are used today for interconnect between baseband processors, application processors, image processors, 3-D graphics accelerators and the I/O devices they support such as camera and display modules. For example, a color display with 320x320 pixel resolution and sixty-five thousand colors running at 60 frames-per-second requires a 100 megabit per second interface.

Over time, portable handheld devices are expected to become more powerful and thus require higher speed signaling interfaces between their internal components. These future handheld devices will require interfaces that operate at 10X to 100X faster data rates (e.g. one to ten gigabits per second). Unfortunately, existing electrical multi-gigabit signaling interfaces (such as CML or LVDS) consume too much power to be efficiently used in mobile platforms. Our research is focused on the development of a physical interface, including driver and receiver circuits that reduce power consumption by 10X over present state-of-the-art. In addition, our interface reduces electromagnetic emissions leading to reduced EMI – an important consideration in mobile platforms. Together, reduced power consumption and lower electromagnetic emissions make our approach better suited for future portable devices than existing methods.

Recent publications

F. Kiamilev, "Apparatus and method for transmitting and receiving high-speed differential current data between circuit devices," US Patent Application No. 11/324,233 (Filed on January 4, 2006).

J. Kramer and F. Kiamilev, "A 10 Gb/s Low Swing Receiver for Power Optimization by Accelerated Bit Error Rate Testing," The 49th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (August 2006).

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