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Workshop series on Advanced Communication Systems

Ultra-Low Power Voltage Reference Circuits


June 24, 2023


In-person (IIIT Bangalore), and Online (Zoom meeting)


Generation of precisely defined electrical and timing quantities under silicon process, voltage, and temperature variations using nano-meter scale semi-conductor devices is extremely challenging and interesting. Wireless transceiver systems require precisely defined RF carrier frequencies for efficient wireless communication and also need precisely defined timing signals to perform time slotted channel hopping (in 6TiSCH IoT networks) function. IoT sensor nodes typically consists of a modular sensor front-end, data conversion circuits, MCU, wireless transceiver circuits, power management unit, and analog power infrastructure circuits. Ultra-low power implementation of these circuit components is also critical to support a battery lifetime of >10 years in IoT applications.


Voltage/current reference circuits are fundamental elements in any electrical system and it is difficult to achieve both its ultralow power operation and precision performance in the same design using the standard circuit techniques. In this seminar, we will discuss the fundamental concepts (ultra-low power applications, performance parameters and circuit topologies), pW/nW circuit design techniques, and also present an in-depth performance analysis of BJT, sub-threshold MOSFET and leakage based voltage reference circuits. We will also discuss the differentiated ultra-low power circuit solutions published in the recent IEEE journals and conferences.

Timings (IST):

Session 1: 09:30 to 11:00

Break: 11:00 to 11:15

Session 2: 11:15 to 13:00


Date : 24th June 2023


Pre-requisite : Fundamental analog electronics course and understanding of MOSFET operation


Lecture style : Fundamental circuit techniques and reference circuit topologies published on IEEE journals and conferences


Seminar Content :

1) Overview of ultra-low power sensor node applications

2) Voltage reference performance parameters and circuit topologies

3) Band-gap voltage reference circuits

4) MOSFET : Sub-threshold region of operation

5) Nano-Watt power consumption sub-threshold MOSFET based voltage reference circuits (advanced topic)

6) Pico-Watt power consumption leakage based voltage reference circuits (advanced topic)



Dr. Manikandan R R

IIIT Bangalore

Manikandan R R received his Ph.D degree from Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2014. His Ph.D thesis focus on “Low power and low spur frequency synthesizer circuit techniques for energy efficient wireless transmitters“. From 2015 to 2016, he worked as a Lead design Engineer in Cadence Designs Systems, Bangalore, and designed frequency sysnthesizer circuits for SERDES application. From 2016 to 2017, he was a member of Kilby Research Labs, Texas Instruments, Bangalore and designed ultra-low power analog circuits for an IoT power management application. From 2017 to 2023, he worked as an Analog Design Engineer at Texas Instruments and designed Isolated power and data transfer circuits and precision analog circuits.

Mr. Vinod Menezes

Texas Instruments, Bangalore

Mr. Vinod Menezes is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments, Bangalore. Vinod Menezes joined Texas Instruments in 1990 and contributed to the success of several research and product divisions at TI. He authored and co-authored 13 IEEE Conference papers, 3 Journal papers, and holds more than 25 patents. He is an electronics enthusiast and practitioner, and built 3D printers, environmental sensing platforms and several other electronic systems at his home.