Voltage Sensing Using an Asynchronous Charge-to-Digital Converter for Energy-Autonomous Environments

Reza Ramezani, Alex Yakovlev, Fei Xia, Julian Murphy, Delong Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In future systems with relatively unreliable and unpredictable energy sources such as harvesters, the system power supply may become non-deterministic. For energy effective operations, Vdd is an important parameter in any meaningful system control mechanism. Reliable and accurate on-chip voltage sensors are therefore indispensible for the power and computation management of such systems. Existing voltage sensing methods are not suitable because they usually require a stable and known reference (voltage, current, time, frequency, etc.), which is difficult to obtain in this environment. This paper describes an autonomous reference-free voltage sensor designed using an asynchronous counter powered by the charge on a capacitor and a small controller. Unlike existing methods, the voltage information is directly generated as a digital code. The sensor, fabricated in the 180 nm technology node, was tested successfully through performing measurements over the voltage range from 1.8 V down to 0.8 V.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6472117
Pages (from-to)35-44
JournalIEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 07 Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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