Theses Doctoral

Serial Biasing Technique for Rapid Single Flux Quantum Circuits

Shukla, Ashish Jayant

Superconductor electronics based on the Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) technology are considered a strong contender for the ‘beyond CMOS’ future of digital circuits because of the high speed and low power dissipation associated with them. In fact, digital operations beyond tens of GHz have been routinely demonstrated in the SFQ technology. These circuits have widespread applications such as high-speed analog-to-digital conversion, digital signal processing, high speed computing and in emerging topics such as control circuitry for superconducting quantum computing.

Rapid Single Flux Quantum (RSFQ) circuits have emerged as a promising candidate within the SFQ technology, with information encoded in picosecond wide, milli-volt voltage pulses. As is the case with any integrated circuit technology, scalability of RSFQ circuits is essential to realizing their applications. These circuits, based on the Josephson junction, require a DC bias current for the correct operation. The DC bias current requirement increases with circuit complexity, and this has multiple implications on circuit operation. Large currents produce magnetic fields that can interfere with logic operation. Furthermore, the heat load delivered to the superconducting chip also increases with current which could result in the circuit becoming ‘normal’ and not superconducting. These problems make reduction of the bias current necessary.

Serial Biasing (SB) is a bias current reduction technique, that has been proposed in the past. In this technique, a digital circuit is partitioned into multiple identical islands and bias current is provided to each island in a serial manner. While this scheme is promising, there are multiple challenges such as design of the driver-receiver pair circuit resulting in robust and wide operating bias margins, current management on the floating islands, etc.

This thesis investigates SB in a systematic manner, focusing on the design and measurement of the fundamental components of this technique with an emphasis on reliability and scalability. It presents works on circuit techniques achieving high speed serially biased RSFQ circuits with robust operating margins and the experimental evidence to support the ideas. It develops a framework for serial biasing that could be used by electronic design tools to automate design and synthesis of complex RSFQ circuits. It also investigates Passive Transmission Lines (PTLs) for use as passive interconnects between library cells in a complex design, reducing the DC bias current required by the active circuitry.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Seok, Mingoo
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 26, 2022