A 56-Gb/s PAM-4 Receiver Using Time-Based LSB Decoder and S/H Technique for Robustness to Comparator Voltage Variations

Hyunsu Park, Jincheol Sim, Yoonjae Choi, Jonghyuck Choi, Youngwook Kwon, Chulwoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a 0.975-pJ/bit 56-Gb/s pulse amplitude modulation-4 (PAM-4) receiver using a time-based least significant bit (LSB) decoder in 28-nm CMOS technology. The proposed time-domain decision technique improves the robustness of comparator voltage variations by separating the data and reference paths. If the reference voltage difference is constant regardless of the common-mode voltage shift, the time-domain decoder achieves a low bit error rate (BER). To improve the timing margin of the LSB decoder from the data-dependent jitter, a sample-and-hold (S/H) structure is adopted in both the data and reference paths. The S/H circuits extend the timing margin by converting the input of the comparators to a constant voltage. The number of comparators for data decoding is reduced to two-thirds, and only eight comparators are required for a quarter-rate structure. The number of comparators in the data path, excluding the reference path, is 4, which reduces the loading capacitance. An adaptive threshold voltage calibration was implemented to generate the timing reference pulse. In addition to bathtub graphs, the BER, according to the VCM change of the reference voltages, is plotted to show the sensitivity to the voltage variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-572
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was approved by Associate Editor Daniel Friedman. This work was supported by the Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., under Grant IO201210-08000-01.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.


  • Bit error rate
  • Clocks
  • Decoding
  • Nonlinear distortion
  • Receivers
  • Threshold voltage
  • Time-domain analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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