Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Advisor

Jia Di

Committee Member

H. A. Mantooth

Second Committee Member

Scott C. Smith

Third Committee Member

James P. Parkerson

Abstract

Certain applications require digital electronics to operate under extreme conditions e.g., large swings in ambient temperature, very low supply voltage, high radiation. Such applications include sensor networks, wearable electronics, unmanned aerial vehicles, spacecraft, and energyharvesting systems. This dissertation splits into two projects that study digital electronics supplied by ultra-low voltages and build an electronic system for extreme temperatures. The first project introduces techniques that improve circuit reliability at deep subthreshold voltages as well as determine the minimum required supply voltage. These techniques address digital electronic design at several levels: the physical process, gate design, and system architecture. This dissertation analyzes a silicon-on-insulator process, Schmitt-trigger gate design, and asynchronous logic at supply voltages lower than 100 millivolts. The second project describes construction of a sensor digital controller for the lunar environment. Parts of the digital controller are an asynchronous 8031 microprocessor that is compatible with synchronous logic, memory with error detection and correction, and a robust network interface. The digitial sensor ASIC is fabricated on a silicon-germanium process and built with cells optimized for extreme temperatures.

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