Dual-Equalization-Path Energy-Area-Efficient Near Field Inductive Coupling for Contactless 3D IC

This paper presents a dual-equalization-path (DEP) near field inductive coupling link for contactless vertical interconnect in high-performance 3D IC. The DEP receiver is demonstrated for the first time in near field inductive coupling vertical links to improve energy per bit and area efficiency. A feedback mechanism in the main path helps in signal recovery for improving the voltage margin. While a linear auxiliary path using passive pulse-reuse feedforward equalization helps in signal recovery for improving the timing margin. We also demonstrate how the receiver equalization architecture helps in enabling an energy-efficient and compact near field inductive coupling-based 3D IC. In experimental demonstration, the transceiver achieves 207 fJ/bit in 65nm CMOS process. The developed equalization architecture demonstrates a 34% improved FoM-3D performance compared to state-of-the-art contactless 3D links.