A Breakdown Voltage Doubler for High Voltage Swing Drivers

S. Mandegaran and A. Hajimiri

A novel breakdown voltage (BV) doubler is introduced that makes it possible to generate high output voltage swings using transistors with low breakdown voltages. The timing analysis of the stage is used to optimize its dynamic response. A 10Gb/s optical modulator driver with a differential output voltage swing of 8V on a 50Ω load was implemented in a SiGe BiCMOS process. It uses the BV-doubler topology to achieve output swings twice the collector-emitter breakdown voltage without stressing any single transistor.