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Agile Analog Unveils New IR Drop Sensor IP

The agileIR Drop consists of a voltage reference and comparator(s) set at different threshold levels for multi-level detection.

Agile Analog has developed IR Drops Sensor for its growing library of analog IP.

Agile IP SensorThis is an important safety feature for designers as it monitors for voltage drops when current flows through a resistor, which is called IR drops and can affect the timing of a chip and could result in functional failures if this happens in a critical part of the design.

“Adding to the complexity of IR drops, they can be influenced by activity on other areas of the chip so including our agileIR DROP into a design provides real-time monitoring of any IR drops caused by power supply fluctuations, hot spots, shorts, etc,” explained Barry Paterson, Agile Analog’s CEO. “It is important to know that IR drops can become worse over the lifetime of a chip hence the need for continual in-chip monitoring. This is caused by electromigration, i.e., over time metal molecules can migrate within wires when currents flow, narrowing them in places which increases the resistance in those locations and results in IR drops.”

The agileIR Drop consists of a voltage reference and comparator(s) set at different threshold levels for multi-level detection.

The number of trigger outputs can be customized, and each threshold can be adjusted during operation to support DVFS operation. A four-output configuration is shown in the block diagram.

It has been designed for low power consumption so that it can be used in battery-operated devices if required which will have power supply changes as the cells discharge.

The active current is in the order of 120 uA with a power down current of less than 1 uA. As befits a safety device, it has a fast detection time of typically 25 nanoseconds. The threshold accuracy is 5% and 1% when trimmed with a step size of typically 20 mV.

Traditionally, analog IP blocks have to be manually redesigned for each application and process technology but Agile Analog has a unique way to automatically generate analog IP to exactly meet the customer’s specifications and process technology.

Called Composa, it uses tried and tested analog IP circuits that are in the company’s Composa library. Effectively, the design-once-and-re-use-many-times model of digital IP now applies to analog IP for the first time.


Aishwarya Saxena

A book geek, with creative mind, an electronics degree, and zealous for writing.Creativity is the one thing in her opinion which drove her to enter into editing field. Allured towards south Indian cuisine and culture, love to discover new cultures and their customs. Relishes in discovering new music genres.

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