Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 12:00-1:00 p.m. HH-1112


Michael P. Flynn
University of Michigan

Blurring of the Analog-Digital Boundary in Nanometer CMOS

Although classical interface architectures such as pipeline continue to dominate commercial analog to digital interfaces, new and renewed architectures, such as successive approximation are becoming competitive. Architectures that exploit the speed and the timing accuracy of nanometer CMOS should have an advantage in the future.

There is also a growing role for application-specific interface architectures and these are becoming more digital in nature. As an example, sigma-delta based fractional-N modulators are now driving commercial wireless transceivers and recently the analog components of these PLLs have been replaced with digital blocks, improving performance and reducing cost. Emerging applications such as biomedical interfaces also benefit from novel digital dominant approaches.

At the same time, the improving digital interconnect structure is providing new opportunities for analog and RF designers. More interconnect layers promise better resonators and timing generation, and on-chip antennas may become practical. At the same time the analog-digital interface may also find a role in on-chip data communication. While analog becomes more digital, digital system designers may be forced to use analog techniques to send data across the die, much as parallel interfaces were replaced on the PCB and backplane.


Michael P. Flynn was born in Cork, Ireland. He received the B. E. and M. Eng. Sc. degrees from the National University of Ireland at Cork (UCC), in 1988 and 1990 respectively. He received the Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995.

Dr. Flynn joined the University of Michigan in 2001 and is now an Associate Professor. From 1988 to 1991, he was with the National Microelectronics Research Centre, Cork, Ireland. He joined National Semiconductor in Santa Clara, CA, in 1993, and from 1995 to 1997 he was a Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX. From 1997 to 2001, he was Technical Director and Fellow at Parthus Technologies, Cork, and during the same period he was also a part-time faculty member at the Department of Microelectronics, National University of Ireland, Cork. His technical interests are in data conversion, high speed serial data links, and RF circuits.

Dr. Flynn was named a Fellow by the Guggenheim Foundation in 2007. He received the 2005-2006 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He received the National Science Foundation Early Career Award in 2004. He received the 1992-93 IEEE Solid-State Circuits Pre-doctoral Fellowship. He serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits (JSSC) and on the Technical Program Committees of the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and the Asia Solid State Circuits Conference (A-SSCC). He was Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II from 2002 to 2004. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a member of Sigma Xi. He is Thrust Leader responsible for Wireless Interfaces at Michigan's Wireless Integrated Microsystems (WIMS) NSF Engineering Research Center.