Constrained Optimization Applied to the Parameter Setting Problem for Analog Circuits

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 4 (NIPS 1991)

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David Kirk, Kurt Fleischer, Lloyd Watts, Alan Barr


We use constrained optimization to select operating parameters for two circuits: a simple 3-transistor square root circuit, and an analog VLSI artificial cochlea. This automated method uses computer controlled mea(cid:173) surement and test equipment to choose chip parameters which minimize the difference between the actual circuit's behavior and a specified goal behavior. Choosing the proper circuit parameters is important to com(cid:173) pensate for manufacturing deviations or adjust circuit performance within a certain range. As biologically-motivated analog VLSI circuits become increasingly complex, implying more parameters, setting these parameters by hand will become more cumbersome. Thus an automated parameter setting method can be of great value [Fleischer 90]. Automated parameter setting is an integral part of a goal-based engineering design methodology in which circuits are constructed with parameters enabling a wide range of behaviors, and are then "tuned" to the desired behaviors automatically.