This paper describes a new biasing scheme for sensing circuits, namely an automated bias control (ABC) circuit, for high-performance VLSI’s. The ABC circuit can automatically gear the output level of sensing circuits to the input threshold voltage of the succeeding CMOS converters. The sensing performance can be accelerated with the ABC circuit either by reducing excessive signal level margin between the sensing circuits and the CMOS converters or by reducing extra stages of signal amplification. Since feedback control of the ABC circuit ensures a correct dc biasing even under large process deviation and circuit condition changes, wider operation margin can also be obtained. Three successful applications of the ABC circuit are reported: a sense amplifier, an address transition detector (ATD), and an ECL-CMOS input buffer. A 64-kb BiCMOS SRAM employing the proposed sense amplifier and the ATD has been fabricated with a 0.8-pm 9-GHz BiCMOS technology. The SRAM has an address access time of 4.5 ns.
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