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United States Patent Application 20160301415
Kind Code A1
Waldrip; Jeffrey W. ;   et al. October 13, 2016

TEMPERATURE COMPENSATED PLL CALIBRATION

Abstract

In some embodiments, provided are AFC circuits and methods for calibrating a second setting of an oscillator while a first setting is controlled by a temperature compensated control.


Inventors: Waldrip; Jeffrey W.; (Austin, TX) ; Fan; Yongping; (Portland, OR) ; Li; Jing; (Folsom, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Intel Corporation

Santa Clara

CA

US
Family ID: 1000001994783
Appl. No.: 15/152462
Filed: May 11, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
13837070Mar 15, 20139344094
15152462

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H03L 1/022 20130101; H03L 7/087 20130101; H04L 7/033 20130101; H03L 7/099 20130101; H03L 7/103 20130101
International Class: H03L 1/02 20060101 H03L001/02; H04L 7/033 20060101 H04L007/033; H03L 7/099 20060101 H03L007/099; H03L 7/087 20060101 H03L007/087; H03L 7/10 20060101 H03L007/10

Claims



1. (canceled)

2. An apparatus comprising: a phase frequency detector (PFD); a charge pump coupled to the PFD; a low pass filter (LPF) coupled to the charge pump; an oscillator; a first switch operable to couple an input of the oscillator with the LPF during a first operation mode; a circuit to provide an output which is a temperature compensated calibrated voltage; and a second switch operable to couple the input of the oscillator with the output of the circuit during a second operation mode.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the first operation mode is a normal mode, wherein the second operation mode is a calibration mode, and wherein the second operation mode is to be performed before the first operation mode.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the circuit comprises: a temperature sensor; and a digital-to-analog converter coupled to the temperature sensor, wherein the DAC is to provide the output of the circuit.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the digital to analog converter is generate one or more signals indicating a high limit and a low limit for the temperature calibrated voltage.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 comprises: a first comparator to compare an operational control voltage with the high limit; and a second comparator to compare the operational control voltage with the low limit.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein a number of enabled capacitors in the oscillator are reduced if an output of the first comparator indicates that the operational control voltage is higher than the high limit.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein a number of enabled capacitors in the oscillator are increased if an output of the second comparator indicates that the operational control voltage is lower than the low limit.

9. The apparatus of claim 2 comprises a calibration logic to provide a code to the oscillator, wherein the calibration logic is coupled to the oscillator.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 comprises a frequency detector coupled to the calibration logic, wherein the frequency detector is to compare a frequency of the oscillator with a reference clock.

11. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the oscillator is part of an on-chip transmitter clock generator.

12. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the oscillator is an Inductor Capacitor Voltage Controlled Oscillator (LCVCO).

13. An apparatus comprising: a digitally controlled oscillator (LDO); a first control to adjust capacitor settings of the DCO by a coarse amount; a second control to adjust the capacitor settings of the DCO by a fine amount; and an automatic frequency control (AFC) logic which is to provide the first and second controls such that the second control is to have an associated code which is near a middle of a range of the associated code when a temperature is to be at a mid-range value.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the AFC comprises a calibration logic, coupled to the DCO, to generate the first control to lock a phase locked loop (PLL) prior to adjusting of the capacitor settings of the DCO by a fine amount by the second control, wherein the PLL includes the DCO.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the AFC comprises: a multiplexer coupled to the DCO; and a scaling logic coupled to a first input of the multiplexer, wherein the scaling logic is to generate the second control during a calibration mode.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the multiplexer has a second input to receive an output of a digital low pass filter (DLPF).

17. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the calibration logic is to receive a reference clock (RefClk) and an output of the DCO.

18. A computer platform, comprising: a chip having a transmitter to communicate with an off-chip receiver, the transmitter to apply a clock generated from a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) which comprises: a digitally controlled oscillator (LDO); a first control to adjust capacitor settings of the DCO by a coarse amount; a second control to adjust the capacitor settings of the DCO by a fine amount; and an automatic frequency control (AFC) logic which is to provide the first and second controls such that the second control is to have an associated code which is near a middle of a range of the associated code when a temperature is to be at a mid-range value.

19. The computer platform of claim 18, wherein the transmitter is part of a serial IO port.

20. The computer platform of claim 19, wherein the serial IO port is a PCIe port.

21. The computer platform of claim 18, wherein the AFC comprises a calibration logic, coupled to the DCO, to generate the first control to lock a phase locked loop (PLL) prior to adjusting of the capacitor settings of the DCO by a fine amount by the second control, wherein the PLL includes the DCO.

22. The computer platform of claim 21, wherein the AFC comprises: a multiplexer coupled to the DCO; and a scaling logic coupled to a first input of the multiplexer, wherein the scaling logic is to generate the second control during a calibration mode.
Description



CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] This application is a continuation of, and claims priority to, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/837,070, filed on Mar. 15, 2013, entitled "TEMPERATURE COMPENSATED PLL CALIBRATION," which is incorporated here in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present invention relates generally to phase locked loop circuits, and in particular, to a circuit for calibrating an LCPLL.

BACKGROUND

[0003] On-chip transmitters and receivers typically use PLLs (phase locked loops) to generate accurate clocks for transmitting and receiving data. With ever increasing data transfer rates, PLLs capable of generating accurate, high frequency clocks, e.g., in the ones or even tens of Giga Hertz magnitudes may be needed. LCPLLs (inductor capacitor PLLs), which may use inductor capacitor voltage controlled oscillators (LCVCOs), capacitive controlled tank oscillators, or other oscillators, may be used to deliver such high frequency clocks. Unfortunately, an oscillator (e.g., VCO) in an LCPLL typically has a limited tuning range. To address this, LCPLLs have used automatic frequency control (AFC) techniques to calibrate oscillator settings to conform about an operable control voltage range.

[0004] FIG. 1 shows a portion of an LCPLL with a conventional AFC implementation. The PLL loop portion includes a phase frequency detector (PFD), a charge pump (CP), and a low-pass filter (LPF), represented in block 106, and an LCVCO 108 (feedback path not shown for brevity). The PLL operates to generate an output clock (VCO Clk) that accurately tracks an input reference clock (Ref_Clk) using negative feedback to adjust the LCVCO based on a measured difference (or error) between the Ref_Clk and Fb_Clk, a signal fed back from the VCO Clk output. (For convenience, the path from VCO Clk to Fb_Clk is not shown, but VCO Clk is coupled back to Fb_Clk, either directly or indirectly via one or more other circuit blocks.)

[0005] The AFC portion includes frequency detector 102, calibration logic 104, and calibration voltage (Vmid) 110, coupled as shown. It typically runs once at power-up to calibrate the VCO frequency to be close to the target reference clock frequency. Initially, in the calibration mode, the "Cal" pathway switch is closed to apply a fixed voltage (Vmid) as the control voltage (Vctl) to the LCVCO. The LCVCO 108 includes a bank of capacitors that may be engaged or disengaged in different combinations, as set by the digital CapSel[N:0] input. This provides a range of adjustable capacitance values that correspond to an output frequency range. During calibration, the calibration logic 104 functions, based on the fixed Vmid control voltage, to adjust the capacitor value, as set by CapSel[N:0], so that the VCO Clk center frequency is sufficiently close to a target operating frequency (as set by Ref_Clk). Vmid, as implied by its name, is typically set to be in the middle of the operating control voltage (Vctl) range so that a sufficient degree of adjustability is available during PLL operation.

[0006] After AFC completes, the PLL is allowed to lock normally. Unfortunately, the VCO may have an undesirable temperature coefficient, which causes the VCO frequency to change with temperature for a fixed control voltage value. Due to this, the PLL control voltage (Vctl) during lock will change as temperature changes. For a large enough temperature change, if the VCO temperature coefficient is large, the control voltage can become too low or too high for the PLL to stay locked. Even if the change isn't large enough to cause the PLL to lose lock, the control voltage change may still cause the PLL bandwidth or jitter to fall out of spec as the temperature changes.

[0007] Accordingly, new solutions may be desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements.

[0009] FIG. 1 is a diagram of a portion of an LCPLL with a conventional AFC.

[0010] FIG. 2 shows graphs illustrating control voltage ranges over a temperature range for the LCPLL and AFC of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 3 shows a diagram of a temperature compensated AFC in accordance with some embodiments.

[0012] FIG. 4 shows graphs illustrating control voltage ranges over a temperature range for the LCPLL and temperature compensated AFC of FIG. 3.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a temperature compensated analog AFC solution for an LCPLL in accordance with some embodiments.

[0014] FIG. 6 is a diagram showing a temperature compensated AFC solution for a digitally controlled capacitive adjustment PLL implementation in accordance with some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] As shown in FIG. 2, it has been appreciated that the problems associated with the AFC solution of FIG. 1 can occur if the LCVCO is calibrated at an extreme, high or low, temperature when the control voltage (Vmid) stays reasonably constant (or at least is not temperature compensated) regardless of the temperature. FIG. 2 shows the PLL's Vctl value during lock, as a function of temperature. The three lines are for the PLL initially locking at one of three different temperatures. As shown, for each lock condition, the calibration control voltage (Vmid), which is not compensated for temperature, is essentially the same (Vmid=Vcc/2=0.5V). At the different temperatures for the same target frequency, the AFC calibration logic locks at different clock frequency bands (CapSel[N:0] values). With this example, when the PLL is locked at -40 C for AFC calibration (curve A), during normal operation mode, the Vctl must go all the way up to 0.75V to maintain lock for a temperature range of up to 110 C. In some implementations, this may be an excessive Vctl range for desired operation. For example, Kvco (the VCO frequency response as a function of Vctl) at this high control voltage may be significantly lower than at Vmid (0.5 V), and thus, the PLL loop bandwidth would go lower and jitter peaking would become more problematic. The same problem may occur when the AFC calibration takes place at the high end of 110 C. For this case (curve C), the selected capacitance value (CapSel[N:0]) results in an operational Vctl range of from between 0.25 V to 0.5 V, which may be problematic in the lower Vctl operating region.

[0016] In order to address this problem, some embodiments disclosed herein use a temperature compensated oscillator control parameter for calibrating the PLL. For example, with a VCO, a temperature compensated control voltage (e.g., temperature compensated Vmid) may be used to account for temperature drift.

[0017] FIG. 3 shows the PLL and AFC circuits of FIG. 1 but with a temperature compensated calibration voltage source 302 instead of the fixed Vmid source. With this approach, the VCO control voltage driven during AFC (calibration mode) is a function of the temperature. Typically, the control voltage range will be centered about the LCVCO's maximum Kvco. Since Kvco usually decreases away from this point, this results in a tighter control voltage (Vctl) range, with Kvco variation, and thus jitter, being reduced.

[0018] The temperature compensated calibrated voltage source (TCVc) 302 includes an on die temperature sensor 304 coupled to a DAC (digital to analog converter) 304 to generate a temperature compensated calibration control voltage. The TCVc is designed to cause the VCO to generate the target frequency at a capacitor setting so that the control voltage stays within a desired range over the expected operating temperature window during operational modes. For example, the TCVc might be designed to cause AFC to set the LCVCO capacitance so that the middle curve (B) of FIG. 2 is attained, regardless of the temperature at which the PLL is calibrated.

[0019] FIG. 4 shows the curves of FIG. 2 but with the use of the temperature compensated calibrated control voltage of FIG. 3. With this example, the control voltage for operational modes would now range from only as low as 0.35 V and only as high as 0.65 V, regardless of the temperature at calibration lock. With this example, at -40 C, Vctl is driven to 0.4 V, at 35 C to 0.5V, and at 110 C to 0.6V. The operational Vctl voltage range is reduced since the calibration logic 104 picks almost the same CapSel[N:0] code for each temperature. So, for example, when the calibration occurs at -40 C (Vmid is at 0.4V), when the temperature goes to 110 C, the control voltage reaches .about.0.65V. Compared with .about.0.75V in the prior art solution of FIG. 1, Vctl is much better centered around the Kvco max. of 0.5, and therefore loop bandwidth and jitter peaking variation are reduced.

[0020] It should be appreciated that the TCVc may be implemented in any suitable manner. For example, while in the depicted figure, it uses a digital temperature sensor and a DAC, calibrated to achieve a desired Vctl operating window, alternative circuits could be employed. For example, an analog temperature sensor with suitable signal conditioning could be used. Moreover, while the circuit elements appear to be part of a dedicated circuit unit, they could be located apart from each other and function in other circuits in addition to the AFC circuit. For example, any suitable temperature sensor on the chip, dedicated or not to the TCVc, could be used.

[0021] FIG. 5 is a hybrid flow/block diagram showing how a temperature compensated AFC could be used for an analog PLL implementation. The analog AFC implementation functions to adjust the VCO calibration code until the PLL locks with a Vctl voltage that is within an acceptable temperature compensated range. The AFC includes a TCVc 501 formed from DTS 502 and DACs 504, 506. The TCVc is used to control the allowed Vctl range as a function of temperature. They provide temperature compensated vrefhi and vreflo voltage levels, which define high and low Vctl limits through comparators 510, 512, respectively, to set the LCVCO capacitor value so that the resulting control voltage at calibration is at an acceptable value based on the circuit temperature at calibration.

[0022] When the PLL is to be calibrated (LCVCO capacitor value set), the PLL is powered on and locked. The control voltage (Vctl) is then monitored at 508. If it is too high (higher than vrefhi), then at 510, the capacitance is reduced (e.g., CapSel[N:0] count decremented), and the routine flow proceeds to 516. Here, a charge pump may be tri-stated, and the control voltage (Vctl) is precharged to a suitable Vmid value. The charge pump is released, and the loop is enabled at 518 for the PLL to once again lock to the target frequency, and it is monitored again at 508. On the other hand, if the monitored Vctl is too low, then at 512, the capacitance value is increased (e.g., CapSel[N:0] count incremented). From here, the charge pump is tri-stated, and Vctl is discharged to Vmid. The charge pump is then released and the loop is enabled at 520, for the PLL to again lock at the target frequency. This monitoring and count adjustment (through paths UP CNT or DN CNT) continues until an LCVCO capacitor value is set that results with the Vctl being within the vrefhi and vreflo window. (Note that the vrefhi and vreflo values will typically be fairly close to each other. They correspond to the single temperature compensated Vmid level of FIG. 3 but have enough separation for a suitable operating tolerance and stable closed loop operation over encountered operational conditions. As an example, vrefhi could be made to track the uppermost curve (A) of FIG. 4, while vreflo could be made to track the lowermost curve (C) of FIG. 4.

[0023] FIG. 6 shows temperature compensated AFC applied to an LCPLL design using a digitally controlled oscillator (DCO). With this PLL, the DCO (606), the output frequency is controlled by course and fine capacitor settings rather than by capacitor and control voltage settings. The CapSel[N:0] signal controls the DCO's course capacitor value setting, while a Fine[M:0] signal controls its fine capacitance value setting.

[0024] The AFC comprises calibration logic 604, DTS 610, and scaling logic 612. Calibration logic 604 functions to control CapSel[N:0] to lock the PLL with DCO Clk at the target frequency (RefClk). The DTS and scaling logic generate a temperature compensated code (TCC) to be provided as the Fine[M:0] input through mux 608 during a calibration mode. This fine tune adjustment is akin to the temperature compensated voltage of FIG. 3 in that it should cause the course adjustment (CapSel[N:0]) to set at a capacitance that results in the Fine[M:0] code being near its mid level when the temperature is at a mid range value. Of course, the scaling logic 612 could be made to follow any desired Fine[M:0]/temperature curve for desired operation.

[0025] In the preceding description, numerous specific details have been set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known circuits, structures and techniques may have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure an understanding of the description. With this in mind, references to "one embodiment", "an embodiment", "example embodiment", "various embodiments", etc., indicate that the embodiment(s) of the invention so described may include particular features, structures, or characteristics, but not every embodiment necessarily includes the particular features, structures, or characteristics. Further, some embodiments may have some, all, or none of the features described for other embodiments.

[0026] In the preceding description and following claims, the following terms should be construed as follows: The terms "coupled" and "connected," along with their derivatives, may be used. It should be understood that these terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. Rather, in particular embodiments, "connected" is used to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other. "Coupled" is used to indicate that two or more elements co-operate or interact with each other, but they may or may not be in direct physical or electrical contact.

[0027] The invention is not limited to the embodiments described, but can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, it should be appreciated that the present invention is applicable for use with all types of semiconductor integrated circuit ("IC") chips. Examples of these IC chips include but are not limited to processors (including processors for mobile and server platforms), controllers, chip set components, programmable logic arrays (PLA), memory chips, network chips, and the like. In particular, the disclosed LCPLL calibration methods and circuits could be used for any LCPLL applications, including but not limited to on-chip clock generation and RF applications. For example, it could be used in transceivers (transmitters and/or receivers) for platform interfaces such as PCIe, MIPI, USB, and the like.

[0028] It should also be appreciated that in some of the drawings, signal conductor lines are represented with lines. Some may be thicker, to indicate more constituent signal paths, have a number label, to indicate a number of constituent signal paths, and/or have arrows at one or more ends, to indicate primary information flow direction. This, however, should not be construed in a limiting manner. Rather, such added detail may be used in connection with one or more exemplary embodiments to facilitate easier understanding of a circuit. Any represented signal lines, whether or not having additional information, may actually comprise one or more signals that may travel in multiple directions and may be implemented with any suitable type of signal scheme, e.g., digital or analog lines implemented with differential pairs, optical fiber lines, and/or single-ended lines.

[0029] It should be appreciated that example sizes/models/values/ranges may have been given, although the present invention is not limited to the same. As manufacturing techniques (e.g., photolithography) mature over time, it is expected that devices of smaller size could be manufactured. In addition, well known power/ground connections to IC chips and other components may or may not be shown within the FIGS, for simplicity of illustration and discussion, and so as not to obscure the invention. Further, arrangements may be shown in block diagram form in order to avoid obscuring the invention, and also in view of the fact that specifics with respect to implementation of such block diagram arrangements are highly dependent upon the platform within which the present invention is to be implemented, i.e., such specifics should be well within purview of one skilled in the art. Where specific details (e.g., circuits) are set forth in order to describe example embodiments of the invention, it should be apparent to one skilled in the art that the invention can be practiced without, or with variation of, these specific details. The description is thus to be regarded as illustrative instead of limiting.

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