ENGR338 Lab 2022 Fall
Lab 3 Layout R-2R Ladder DAC
Mason Brady
Email: mrbrady1@fortlewis.edu

Layout of an R-2R DAC

Introduction: This lab uses a Electric VLSI to layout 10k resistors to create a DAC. A subcell is created containing a 1-bit DAC which can then be compied and placed in series to create larger DACs.

Materials: LTSpice, Electric VLSI

Methods: The first task was simple, create a subcell of a 1-bit DAC. This used 3 10k resistors, 2 in series and one in parallel which is connected to an off page connector. An offpage connector is connected to the 2 resistors in series as well and a final off page connector was placed at the branch point. An icon of the subcell was then created, all of which can be seen below in Figure 1.

Figure 1. 1-bit DAC subcell.
10 of these were then placed in series with a 10k resistor at the bottom to create the following DAC:

Figure 2. 10-bit DAC schematic.

A layout was then created for the subcell using a width of 15 and length of 187.5 for a resistance of 10k. These were placed 25 apart. These were all then connected to eachother and the top resistor goes to the left output, the middle resistor to the right output, and the bottom to bottom. This was then packaged and placed in series with 9 more identical cells as done with the icons which created the schematic seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Layout of 10-bit DAC.

The whole layout was DRC and NCC clean as seen in the figure.


The aformentioned shcematic was placed with an ideal ADC like the prior labs and run in LTSpice as seen below in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Simulation results from ideal ADC and R_2R ladder DAC confirming the DAC works as intended. Some of the wiring was graphically missing but connected properly.

Discussion: This lab was interesting and it was cool to see how the n-well resistors get placed on a chip and that they actually work.