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Sensors 2014, 14(1), 129-143; doi:10.3390/s140100129
Article

A Self-Timed Multipurpose Delay Sensor for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)

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Received: 24 September 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 20 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
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Abstract

This paper presents a novel self-timed multi-purpose sensor especially conceived for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). The aim of the sensor is to measure performance variations during the life-cycle of the device, such as process variability, critical path timing and temperature variations. The proposed topology, through the use of both combinational and sequential FPGA elements, amplifies the time of a signal traversing a delay chain to produce a pulse whose width is the sensor’s measurement. The sensor is fully self-timed, avoiding the need for clock distribution networks and eliminating the limitations imposed by the system clock. One single off- or on-chip time-to-digital converter is able to perform digitization of several sensors in a single operation. These features allow for a simplified approach for designers wanting to intertwine a multi-purpose sensor network with their application logic. Employed as a temperature sensor, it has been measured to have an error of  ±0.67 °C, over the range of 20–100 °C, employing 20 logic elements with a 2-point calibration.
Keywords: sensor; delay; temperature; FPGA; monitoring; PVT variations; clockless; aging; self-timed sensor; delay; temperature; FPGA; monitoring; PVT variations; clockless; aging; self-timed
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Osuna, C.G.; Ituero, P.; López-Vallejo, M. A Self-Timed Multipurpose Delay Sensor for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Sensors 2014, 14, 129-143.

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