Tutorial T1


T1: Digital-to-Frequency Converter (DFC): the new engine for future chips

Presented by: Liming Xiu, Novatek (

Abstract. In modern electronic systems, all the activities inside the chips are coordinated by clock signals. This is simply due to the fact that majority of today’s chips are designed on synchronous principle. The construction of clock circuitry has crucial impact on system performance, implementation cost and eventually market success. Among the many aspects of clock circuitry, the most important one is its capability to produce frequencies. A clock circuitry capable of generating a rich set of frequencies can provide system architects and software engineers with the opportunity of creating “cheaper, better and faster” products. This is especially true for large SoC based consumer electronic systems (with the possibility of hundred of clock domains on-chip). It is also equally true for Clock Data Recovery application (which is widely used in data communication) and many other applications.  Link to extended abstract.

Liming Xiu

IEEE CAS VP for Region 1-7. Chief Clock Architect, Novatek (

Senior Member of Technical Staff (SMTS), Texas Instruments Inc. 1995-2009.

Liming Xiu has done significant amount of work/research in the area of on-chip frequency synthesis. He is the inventor of Flying-Adder frequency synthesis architecture which has been used in many commercial products with revenue of over 500-millions US dollar. During his professional career, he has published many journal papers on Flying-Adder related topics. He holds fourteen granted and pending US patents. He is also an industry expert on VLSI SoC integration with battle-proven integration experience on several very large chips in advanced CMOS nodes. In this area, he has one book published by IEEE-Wiley, “VLSI Circuit Design Methodology Demystified”. Both TI CEO (Richard Templeton) and CTO (Hans Stork) have written forewords for this book. Liming Xiu has the experience and skill of a practical engineer. Moreover, he also possesses the vision and capability of a frontline researcher with energetic passion for innovation. His career goal is to spread this groundbreaking Flying-Adder/Time-Average-Frequency/Digital-to-Frequency-Converter technology within the industry, to serve the mission of creating cheaper, better, more efficient electronic products.




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53rd IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems