# Noise Margin

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```					                             Noise Margin Definition

   (from JEDEC Dictionary) Noise margin: The maximum
voltage amplitude of extraneous signal that can be
algebraically added to the noise-free worst-case input level
without causing the output voltage to deviate from the
allowable logic voltage level.

NOTE The term "input", as used here, refers to logic input
terminals, power supply terminals, or ground reference
terminals.

 How        do we apply this?

Noise Margin 1 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
What is it good for?
Allows digital circuits to propagate
signals through any number of elements
without error                                          Based on notes:
A                                                                                FUR 2005.01.24
F
A        B     F          A    B       F
B                                     0        0     1          L    L       H
0        1     1          L    H       H
1        0     1          H    L       H
OR                                    1        1     0          H    H       L

What does this mean?
5V
L=?
VOH   VMH   = VOHMIN - VIHMIN
H=?                                       2.4       VIH

2.0
VIHMIN   2V
VOHMIN   2.4V
VILMAX   0.8V                             0.8
VML   = VILMAX - VOLMAX
0.4
VOLMAX   0.4V                                           VIL       VOL
0
VOLMAX   Max Output V
VILMAX   Max Input V, That is L for all

Noise Margin 2 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Implicit Agreement or Contract

For all (bounded, ignore random/real noise) conditions ( T, Vdd / Vcc, load, age, other
inputs, …), truth tables satisfied if voltages in range.

VMH       VIH   VOL         VIL   VOH   Repeat
VOH
VML

What about VIHMAX , VILMIN ?

Usually just damage but can effect output.

Transfer Function                                                       Vdd

o
VO

Vdd                                                       VI              Vo
VOHMIN

VOLMAX

VILMAX    VIHMIN     Vdd   VI
Vdd/2

Noise Margin 3 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Specification Points?

   We can choose them, in general.
   Typical electronics textbook (Sedra &
Smith) says: “Choose specification points
at gain = -1”.

This maximizes VMH + VML.
For symmetric transfer characteristic it is best, but may not be best for non-symmetric.
e.g.: Could have VMH = 2V, VML = -1V, Vsum = 1V.

Usually want to maximize the smaller (unless we want something else (impedance?)).

3
1       V<=VMH            <=VOLMAX   V<=VML    4               5
VOHMIN                                       <=VILMAX         >=VOHMIN
_                      _
+               A               +           B
>=VIHMIN
2

Noise Margin 4 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
MAX Square
V IB
VOA
B
AV   ML

VMH

VMH
4 VILMAX
3 VOLMAX                                       VML
VIA
2 VIH MIN                VOB
1 VOH MIN
5     .
3
1        V<=VMH                      <=VOLMAX           V<=VML            4             5
VOHMIN                                                               <=VILMAX         >=VOHMIN
_                                        _
+                     A                                 +           B
>=VIHMIN
2

Maximum square gives max smallest VM (& Equal);

If symmetric it is at unity gain points.

We need |Gain| > 1 and overlapping region (Can get by level shifting).
Noise Margin 5 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Typical NM Definition?

VOH   Normal Operating
Most texts use (wrong):              point, not W.C.

VOL

 Gives Larger noise margin def.
 Does not allow noise at every node.
 No design rule can be derived.
 (Here noise = 0 at all but one node? NO!)
 So what’s a useful measure of effectiveness?

Noise Margin 6 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Noise Immunity

 Our  text has different orientation/emphasis:
noise immunity. VM/Vswing
 VM is directed toward simplest gates. Lots of
logic, short connections.
 Text is oriented to smaller number of longer
connections where noise is greater and more
components (FETS) can be used.
 Also oriented toward design (choose Vswing)

Noise Margin 7 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Quiz…
 Which        is better?
A                    B           C
VMH = 1V               VMH = 0.5   VMH = 0.4
VML = 0.8V             VML = 0.5   VML = 0.3

 Naturally   it depends!: what is max signal swing
(VOH-VOL), what is source of noise.
 Figure of merit is VM/signal-swing (larger is better,
0.5 is best possible)
 So, A is obviously wins if the noise sources are the
same in each case, but that is not always the case.
» If the logic that produces the characteristics of A is “noisy”
and causes more noise in the system than the logic that B
uses…
» What if signal swing is 5V for A and 1.2V for C?
1/5 < .4/1.2!

Noise Margin 8 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Other Thoughts
   Max input High, Min input Low: damage, incorrect operation?
   Generally expect, monotonic transfer characteristic, positive resistance,
…not always true
   Output and input currents must be considered, VM may apply only over
some range of loads (essentially infinite for CMOS, 10 for 7400)
   Non-inverting logic elements
   VM applies to a system of logic elements, not to a single element,
although we refer to the VM of a logic element
   Most noise is internally generated, not external so VM /signal-swing
noise immunity, not absolute value of VM is almost always most
important.
   Large asymmetry in transfer characteristic can be bad, large noise
generation with small noise margin
   AC noise margin is typically greater than DC
   VIHmin for a set of logic elements? Largest VIHmin in the set!
   “Clever circuits” sometimes have “clever failure modes”
   TTL(74,74L,74H,74S,74LS,74ALS,74AS)/RTL/DTL/CMOS/ECL/PECL
/CML/GTL/GTL+/BTL/HSTL/SSTL/LVDS/…

Noise Margin 9 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012
Fundamental Issues

   If noise is less than noise margin, digital signals can propagate through
an infinite number of elements and remain error free
» Assuming fault-free components
» Very good approximation at present, will not hold as voltages decrease and
“random” noise becomes more important, not true at present in some high-
speed systems, or in magnetic recording.

   A major goal of signal-integrity or high-speed design or digital systems
engineering is to maintain noise amplitude less than noise margin
during critical times (sampling times)
» Minimize noise (or: small enough)
» Maximize signal (or: large enough)
» All with acceptable (or optimum) power dissipation, delay/speed,
component count, design time, …
» Some systems aim for acceptable error rate, rather than error free
» At the fundamental level of operation, digital circuits are analog, and must be
analyzed as such. “Digital” is a convenient model or abstraction
» Be careful with “textbook” definitions: spec points, slope= -1

Noise Margin 10 - David M. Zar - 9/24/2012

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