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# inverter delay with slow ramp input

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#### irfansyah

inverter ramp input

hi, i wonder if anyone can help me with this "inverter delay measurement" problem i have.

Normally, textbooks define inverter propagation delay to be = RCln(2), which is the time interval between 50% change in input to 50% output change (CMIIW). Apparently, this formula is only good for very small input rise/fall time, and fails to predict inverter delay if slow ramp input is used.

One thing odd that happens when i measure propagation delay according to the above definition is that i can actually get a NEGATIVE value of delay (50% output happens before 50% input), particularly when input is slow and output is very lightly loaded. So i simply changed the way i measure delay to be the time interval from output's initial value to 50% change of itself. BUT, the values i get becomes way off the estimated delay according to the above formula when i use it with fast rising/falling inputs.

Hence, here are my questions:
1. Am I doing the right thing when i measured propagation delay to be time interval between 50% change of input to 50% change of output?
2. Are there any simple yet widely acceptable formula to estimate inverter delay with slow ramp input?

Many thanks.

getting -ve value for the delay based on 50% input to 50% output is not strange . This case will likely happen when the inverter threshold (according to DC c/cs) is less than Vdd/2 and the input is rising from low to high or when the threshold is greater than Vdd/2 and the input is falling from high to low. These two conditions will cause the output to reach Vdd/2 point before the input , given very slow input.

I don't think it is right to measure delay to be the time interval from output's initial value to 50% change of itself. Thi way will give you about half the rise/fall time not the propagation delay.

you can think about using the dc c/cs to estimate the delay and you must accept -ve values.

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