[Libre-soc-bugs] [Bug 488] Build test serdes on 180nm test chip for oct2020

bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org
Fri Sep 11 13:34:19 BST 2020


--- Comment #6 from Staf Verhaegen <staf at fibraservi.eu> ---
(In reply to Jacob Lifshay from comment #4)
> (In reply to Staf Verhaegen from comment #3)

> > I don't see how you guys could do an analog design for the October tape-out
> > as you don't have access to the PDK.
> That's true, however, if it doesn't take much work to do the digital side of
> the serdes, the only non-standard cells needed would be the capacitor for
> storing the control voltage, a much smaller capacitor for the charge pump
> for adjusting the control voltage, and the variable delay circuit. I'd guess
> that the capacitors aren't very much work, and the delay circuit might take
> a day or two for you to draw.

You also have the two switches in phase frequency detector; all these have to
be properly designed and layouted with proper scaling to get right filtering
response and speed and with good stability.
It's not a small job and even it is a small job I don't see how you could do it
without access to the PDK.
Main problem is that at the high frequencies the parasitic resistances and
capacitances of the actual layout and the interconnects become important. Again
I don't see how you could do a design taking that into account without access
to the PDK.

I would say such an exercise would be much better fit for Sky130 where they
(plan to) make the needed information to do the design.

> > Also the paper is just a simulation
> > excercise which has not been verified in silicon.
> True, if it doesn't work it most likely won't affect the test chip much, all
> you do is tell the cpu not to access that particular peripheral and use a
> transmission gate to short the control voltage capacitor to ground, causing
> the experimental VCO to stop.
> If it does work, it would be great evidence that the 50Gbaud serdes would
> probably work on 40nm/28nm.

How would you test if the design would or wouldn't work ? For such design often
the design of the test circuit is as involved if not more involved than
designing the circuit itself.
You can't simply bring high frequency signals out as output as that will always
have too much capacitive load on the output signal.

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