Leakage Reduction in Advanced Image Sensors Using an Improved Scheme


Static leakage currents in advanced CMOS processes have become the main source of power consumption in many of today's systems. This is especially true for systems with a large number of devices that are in a stable state for most of their operation time, such as image sensors and memory arrays. This paper introduces an improved adaptive bulk biasing control (AB2C) scheme for reduction of leakage currents during these “standby” periods in serially accessed arrays, while enabling device acceleration during active cycles. We provide a theoretical analysis of the AB2C operation, showing its advantages and limitations. The proposed scheme has been integrated with a test-case advanced wide dynamic range (WDR) image sensor with an on-chip memory. The scheme was applied to both the pixel and bitcell arrays, providing configurable leakage reduction and performance enhancement. An 80 nm test chip was fabricated with a 10 k pixel/bitcell test-case system and successfully tested, showing a 21% power reduction compared to a standard system and up to 44% compared to an accelerated system.

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