Voltage and Current Reference Circuits

Voltage and Current Reference Circuits

Course Overview

Voltage and current references are important building blocks for analog, digital and mixed-signal circuit systems. These references are DC quantities that exhibit small dependence on supply and process parameters with a well-defined dependence on the temperature. They are the primary sources for bias voltages and currents of operational amplifiers, comparators, oscillators, etc. Thus, the performance of reference circuits is critical to that of the circuit systems they are employed. Being able to build accurate voltage and current reference generators in CMOS technology is an essential skill for an analog IC design engineer. In this course, the trainees will deal with the analysis and design of voltage and current reference generators in CMOS technology. Basic circuit design techniques will be discussed that will enable the trainees to build their own accurate voltage and current reference generators.

Course Prerequisites

The trainees for this course are expected to have completed the Introduction to Analog IC Design course offered by PIIC or any equivalent course/workshop offered by any institution. The trainees are expected to have a background and experience in analysis and design of basic analog blocks i.e. single stage amplifiers, current mirrors, differential amplifiers, and operational amplifiers using MOS transistors. They must already know how to bias transistors, perform small-signal analysis, and analyze frequency response. A background on feedback circuits analysis including stability and compensation is also required. The trainees are also expected to have experience in schematic entry and circuit simulations using Cadence Virtuoso or Synopsys Custom Designer.

Lectures Overview

Lecture Topic
2Current References
3Voltage References
4Temperature Dependent Quantities
5Temperature-Independent References
6Design Considerations for Reference Circuits

Laboratory Topic
1Current Reference Circuits
2Voltage Reference Circuits
3PTAT and CTAT DC Quantities
4Bandgap Voltage Reference
5Design Considerations for Bandgap Voltage Reference
Project 1Constant-Gm bias for a Miller OTA
Project 2Current-Mode Bandgap Voltage Reference


AM Session: 8am to 12nn
PM Session: 1pm to 4pm
Day AM/PM Lecture Lab
1AMLecture 1
Lecture 2
Lab 1
PMLecture 3Lab 2
2AMLecture 4Lab 3
PMLecture 5Lab 4
3AMLecture 6Lab 5
PMProject 1Project 1
4AMProject 1Project 1
PMProject 2Project 2
5AMProject 2Project 2
PMLecture 7Projects Checking


Christopher G. Santos
University of the Philippines
PIIC Staff
Philippine Institute for Integrated Circuits


  • N/A

Recommended Texts

  • Design of Analog CMOS Integrated Circuits by Behzad Razavi
  • Analysis and Design Analog Integrated Circuits by Paul Gray, Fred Hurst, Stephen Lewis, Robert Meyer
  • CMOS Circuit Design Layout and Simulation by R. Jacob Baker