Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering


Delay Locked Loop, PVT resilient, Short time


Rashidzadeh, Rashid




As the CMOS technology nodes continue to shrink, the challenges of developing manufacturing tests for integrated circuits become more difficult to address. To detect parametric faults of new generation of integrated circuits such as 3D ICs, on-chip short-time intervals have to be accurately measured. The accuracy of an on-chip time measurement module is heavily affected by Process, supply Voltage, and Temperature (PVT) variations. This work presents a new on-chip time measurement scheme where the undesired effects of PVT variations are attenuated significantly. To overcome the effects of PVT variations on short-time measurement, phase locking methodology is utilized to implement a robust Vernier delay line. A prototype Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) has been fabricated using TSMC 0.180 µm CMOS technology and experimental measurements have been carried out to verify the performance parameters of the TDC. The measurement results indicate that the proposed solution reduces the effects of PVT variations by more than tenfold compared to a conventional on-chip TDC. A coarse-fine time interval measurement scheme which is resilient to the PVT variations is also proposed. In this approach, two Delay Locked Loops (DLLs) are utilized to minimize the effects of PVT on the measured time intervals. The proposed scheme has been implemented using CMOS 65nm technology. Simulation results using Advanced Design System (ADS) indicate that the measurement resolution varies by less than 0.1ps with ±15% variations of the supply voltage. The proposed method also presents a robust performance against process and temperature variations. The measurement accuracy changes by a maximum of 0.05ps from slow to fast corners. The implemented TDC presents a robust performance against temperature variations too and its measurement accuracy varies a few femto-seconds from -40 ºC to +100 ºC. The principle of robust short-time measurement was used in practice to design and implement a state-of-the-art Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) for an industry partner to measure geometrical features of transmission parts with micrometer resolution. The solution developed for the industry partner has resulted in a patent and a product in the market. The on-chip short-time measurement technology has also been utilized to develop a solution to detect Hardware Trojans.