BiCMOS-Based Compensation: Toward Fully Curvature-Corrected Bandgap Reference Circuits

Yi Huang, Li Zhu, Fanpeng Kong, Chun Cheung, Laleh Najafizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We present a novel BiCMOS-based temperature compensation technique aiming at complete correction of the curvature in the temperature response of bandgap references. The source of the appearance of this curvature is because the well-known nonlinear term Tln (T) in the base-emitter voltage (VBE ) is not completely canceled across all temperature points. Here, we show that the gate-source voltage (VGS) of a subthreshold-operating MOSFET, biased with a proportional to absolute temperature current, also exhibits the T\ln (T) nonlinear temperature dependence. We leverage the existence of T\ln (T) in the temperature response of VGS to directly cancel the nonlinear term T\ln (T) in VBE. A theoretical analysis of the proposed compensation approach is presented. As a proof of concept, a current-mode voltage reference circuit, utilizing the proposed approach, is designed in IBM's 8HP Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology. Thermal characteristics of the compensation components are examined through extensive simulations and are also experimentally evaluated, for the first time. Measurement results of the reference circuit show that the circuit outperforms the temperature performance of the state-of-the-art SiGe reference circuits. Possible origins of observed temperature dependences and mitigation techniques are discussed. The proposed compensation approach can be realized in any BiCMOS/CMOS technology for implementing either current-mode or voltage-mode high precision reference circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1210-1223
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • BiCMOS
  • Silicon-germanium (SiGe)
  • bandgap voltage reference (BGR)
  • curvature compensation
  • heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs)
  • subthreshold
  • temperature coefficient (TC)


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