An ultra-low voltage level shifter using revised Wilson current mirror for fast and energy-efficient wide-range voltage conversion from sub-threshold to I/O voltage
This paper presents a novel ultra-low voltage level shifter for fast and energy-efficient wide-range voltage conversion from sub-threshold to I/O voltage. By addressing the voltage drop and non-optimal feedback control in a state-of-the-art level shifter based on Wilson current mirror, the proposed level shifter with revised Wilson current mirror significantly improves the delay and power consumption while achieving a wide voltage conversion range. It also employs mixed-Vt device and device sizing aware of inverse narrow width effect to further improve the delay and power consumption. Measurement results at 0.18 m show that compared with the Wilson current mirror based level shifter, the proposed level shifter improves the delay, switching energy and leakage power by up to 3×, 19×, 29× respectively, when converting 0.3 V to a voltage between 0.6 V and 3.3 V. More specifically, it achieves 1.03 (or 1.15) FO4 delay, 39 (or 954) fJ/transition and 160 (or 970) pW leakage power, when converting 0.3 V to 1.8 V (or 3.3 V), which is better than several state-of-the-art level shifters for similar range voltage conversion. The measurement results also show that the proposed level shifter has good delay scalability with supply voltage scaling and low sensitivity to process and temperature variations.