A Capacitor-DAC-Based Technique for Pre-Emphasis-Enabled Multilevel Transmitters

Boyu Hu, Yuan Du, Rulin Huang, Jeffrey Lee, Young-Kai Chen, Mau-Chung Frank Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This brief presents a capacitor digital-to-analog converter (DAC) based technique that is suitable for pre-emphasis-enabled multilevel wireline transmitter design in voltage mode. Detailed comparisons between the proposed technique and conventional direct-coupling-based as well as resistor-DAC-based multilevel transmitter design techniques are given, revealing potential benefits in terms of speed, linearity, implementation complexity, and also power consumption. A PAM-4 transmitter with 2-Tap feed-forward equalization adopting the proposed technique is implemented in 65-nm CMOS technology. It achieves a 25-Gb/s data rate and energy efficiency of 2 mW/Gb/s.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7600391
Pages (from-to)1012-1016
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacitor digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
  • PAM-4
  • pre-emphasis
  • transmitter
  • wireline


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