Motorola Logic Families, Which Is Best for You?

By Gary Tharalson, Motorola, Inc., Mesa, AZ

Introduction
When a logic designer is faced with developing a new product requiring performance significantly different from the past, it might be well to examine various logic family alternatives. Selecting a logic family for a new design from today' s rapidly changing semiconductor technologies can be a perilous task. With the many choices available, it is easy to under-kill or over-kill an application with inadequate or excessive capabilities.

By selecting the family whose parameters most closely fit your needs, you can save many future headaches. Obviously, before selecting a specific device, a detailed review of the vendor' s data sheet specifications is recommended.

Family Comparison
The table below compares some typical characteristics of several popular logic families available in the market today. The following sections provide brief explanations of the various parameters.

Typical Commercial Parameter
(0°C to +70°C)
Logic Families
TTL CMOS ECL
LS ALS ABT FAST MG HC FACT LVC LCX 10H 100K ECL
in
PS(3)
E-Lite
Speed
Gate Prop Delay (ns)

Flip-Flop Toggle Rate (MHz)

Output Edge Rate (ns)

9

33


6

7

45


3

2.7

200


3

3

125


2

65

4


50

8

45


4

5

160


2

3.3

200


3.7

3.5

200


3.6

1

330


1

0.75

400


0.7

0.33

1,000


0.5

0.22

2800


0.25
Power Consumption Per Gate (mW)
Quiescent

Operating (1 MHz)



5

5



1.2

1.2



0.005

1.0



12.5

12.5



0.0006

0.04



0.003

0.6



0.0001

0.6



0.003

0.8



1E-04

0.3



25

25



50

50



25

25



73

73
Supply Voltage (V)


+4.5
to
+5.5
+4.5
to
+5.5
+4.5
to
+5.5
+4.5
to
+5.5
+3
to
+18
+2
to
+6
+1.2
to
+3.6
+2
to
+3.6
+2
to
+6
-4.5
to
-5.5
-4.2
to
-4.8
-4.2
to
-5.5
-4.2
to
-5.5
Output Drive (mA)

8

8

32/64

20

1

4

24

24

24

50 ohm
load
50 ohm
load
50 ohm
load
50
ohm
load
5V Tolerant
Inputs
Outputs

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

Yes
No

Yes
Yes

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A

N/A
N/A
DC Noise Margin (1)
High Input %

Low Input %


22

10


22

10


22

10


22

10


30

30


30

30


30

30


30

30


30

30


27

31


41

30


28/41

31/31


33

33
Packaging(4)
DIP
SO
LCC
SSOP
TSSOP

Yes
Yes
No
No
No

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes

Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes

No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes

Yes
No
Yes
No
No

Yes
No
No
No
No

No
No
Yes
No
No

No
Yes
No
No
No
Functional devices Types 190 210 50 110 125 103 80 35 27(2) 64 44 48 40
Relative 1-25 Gate Price
U.S. $
.90 1.00 1.60 1.00 .90 .90 1.50 1.80 1.80 2.00 10.00 28.00 32.00
(1)Typical noise margin expressed as a percentage of typical output voltage swing.
(2)Announced plans for Motorola offering.
(3)ECLinPS is available in both 10H and 100K compatible versions.
(4)A "Yes" may not include all devices within a family.

Manufacturers Data Books Referenced:
Motorola, DL121, DL122, DL129, DL131, DL138, DL140, BR1339
Texas Instruments, SDAD001B
Phillips Semiconductor, IC23, IC24
National Semiconductor, F100K

Logic Families
Although there are many family technologies available, they can be divided into roughly three broad categories: Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL), Complementary Metal- Oxide Semiconductor logic (CMOS), and Emitter-Coupled Logic (ECL). TTL and ECL are bipolar technologies differing in implementation techniques, while CMOS (an MOS technology) differs in fundamental transistor structure and operation.

TTL
The designation " bipolar" essentially refers to the basic component utilized to build this family of integrated circuits, the bipolar transistor. By employing a bipolar transistor in a logic function' s output driver as well as the input buffer, it results in a Transistor-to-Transistor (TTL) direct connection. Older technologies were interconnected via passive components such as resistors or diodes.

Since the original TTL design, several enhancements have been employed to reduce power and increase speed. Common to these has been the use of Schottky diodes which, ironically, no longer result in strictly TTL connections. Consequently, the two names, Schottky and TTL, are used in combination: LS (Low power Schottky), ALS (Advanced Low power Schottky), and FASTTM (Advanced Schottky) TTL.

The superior characteristics of TTL compared to CMOS, in the past, have been its relatively high speed and high output drive; these advantages are rapidly diminishing as described in the next section. One family of devices, ABT (Advanced BiCMOS Technology), utilizes TTL circuitry at the inputs and outputs, and CMOS technology in between--attempting to combine the advantages of both bipolar and CMOS.

CMOS
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) field-effect transistors differ from bipolar both in structure and operation. The primary advantages of CMOS are its low power dissipation and small physical geometry. Advances in design and fabrication have brought CMOS devices into the same speed and output drive capability as TTL. Again, enhancements have resulted in the evolvement of additional classifications: MG (Metal-Gate CMOS), HC (High-speed silicon-gate CMOS), and FACTTM (Advanced CMOS).

The most recent evolution in CMOS logic has been in reducing supply voltage without sacrificing performance. The new LCX family is one outgrowth of this trend. This family results from the joint efforts of a triumvirate of companies including Motorola, National, and Toshiba. Although each company has done its own design and fabrication, they have mutually agreed to provide identical performance specifications. In addition to the 3V operating voltage, LCX inputs and outputs are tolerant of interfacing with 5V devices.

ECL
Emitter-coupled logic (ECL) derives its name from the differential-amplifier configuration in which one side of the diff-amp consists of multiple-input bipolar transistors with their emitters tied together. An input bias on the opposite side of the diff-amp causes the amplifier to operate continuously in the active mode. Consequently, ECL consumes a relatively substantial amount of power in both states (one or zero) but also results in the fastest switching speeds of all logic families. An inherent benefit of ECL is the narrow switching level swing between devices (approximately 800 mV) which helps to reduce noise generation.

There have also been many evolutionary advancements in ECL, the following being some of the most prominent: 100K (1975), 10KH (1981), and ECLinPSTM (1987). Of most recent vintage is the ECLinPS LiteTM family of single function devices. By focusing on simplicity, this family achieves very high performance, while at the same time reducing package size.

Speed
Speed is typically the first parameter at which a designer looks, and when design engineers are asked what features of a logic family they would like enhanced, usually they want more speed. But increased speed often brings along many potential problems such as: increased noise generation, higher power consumption, increased component and system cost, more difficult board layout, etc. An assessment of the other family parameters is usually required before a final selection is possible.

In Table 1. , family speed is compared for three parameters using typical values: propagation delay through a simple OR gate, flip-flop toggle frequency, and output switching time. Typical values can be misleading as they are frequently specified according to different vendor' s criteria, but they are usually close to an average of min and max values. For final assessment of a particular component' s performance, the min/max spec' s provided in most vendor' s data sheets should be examined. Furthermore, switching (edge) rate is highly load dependent, and again, data sheet specifics must be compared.

Power Consumption
The amount of power an application consumes (and the subsequent heat generated) is frequently of prime importance. One of the major differences between the three families, the power parameter may also limit the designer' s choices.

TTL consumes a moderate amount of power and is nearly constant over operating frequencies up to about 10 MHz; above 10 MHz it begins to climb rapidly. Although only a few milliwatts are consumed by each device, in a complete system a substantial amount of power may be used.

CMOS power consumption, on the other hand, is highly frequency dependent. In quiescent mode (zero frequency), it consumes almost no power at all, being measured in microwatts/device. However, its consumption grows almost linearly with frequency so that at maximum operating frequency it may be several milliwatts/device. The great power reduction advantage of CMOS derives from the fact, that in most applications, the percentage of the total number of devices operating at high frequencies at any given time is small; consequently, the average total power consumed by the system is greatly diminished.

Since power consumption is proportional to the square of supply voltage, simply reducing the operating voltage will have desirable effects. Unfortunately, speed generally falls off as well. By designing the LCX family specifically for a lower supply voltage, it was possible to maintain high overall performance. The LCX family is also designed to interface with five volt devices, being tolerant of the differences in I/O levels. Because of its inherent design, ECL is the highest power consumer at frequencies below approximately 50 MHz; however, at higher frequencies, TTL and CMOS power consumption can exceed ECL. The amount of power used by ECL is fairly constant over its entire operating frequency range. Designers of large, high performance ECL systems may have to employ somewhat more complex cooling and power distribution techniques.

Supply Voltage
The power supply voltage required for TTL and ECL is restricted to fixed values; only a narrow voltage variation is allowed for the device to remain within specifications. Since these families also consume substantial amounts of power, there is a large current flow through the power lines. To avoid unacceptable voltage fluctuation, various preventive measures may be necessary such as remote sensing by the supply regulator, beefing up power buses and filters, and utilizing multi-layer PC boards with separate power and ground planes. Typically, a high-speed energy storage capacitor is required near each logic device; this capacitor maintains the correct device voltage during high-current switching.

An important advantage of CMOS is the large range of supply voltage over which operation is specified. By allowing systems to be operated at voltages as low as 2V, not only is power consumption lowered, but noise generation from fast signal switching is reduced. It must be noted, however, that operating speed drops off rapidly as the voltage is reduced. As mentioned previously, this was a significant reason for developing the LCX family.


Output Drive
An important characteristic of a logic device is its ability to drive relatively large loads without significant speed degradation. The older families within TTL, and especially CMOS, had only limited drive capability (below 10 mA). All advanced logic family versions have significantly increased drive capacity, and several (FACT, LCX and all ECL) are capable of driving 50 ohm transmission lines directly. Furthermore, because of the symmetrical sink/source capability of FACT and LCX, their rise and fall times are nearly equal, resulting in balanced delay times.

5V Tolerant Input/Output
Because of the limited number of functions available in the new low voltage CMOS families, a designer might might have to mix 3V and 5V devices, each operating from 3V and 5V rails, respectively. Unless the 3V device was specifically designed with proper protection to tolerate 5V at its input or output, it may not survive.

Noise Margin
Noise immunity refers to the resistance of a logic device to undesired switching. Depending on the input level, a noise glitch that causes a transient across the input switch point from either a high or low level can result in erroneous operation. Clearly, the more voltage difference there is between the switch point and the normal input high and low levels, the more immunity a logic family has to erroneous switching. In Table 1. , these differences are expressed as a percentage of the swing between typical output high and low voltage logic levels. High input noise margin is calculated from the formula: HNM = VOH-VIH over VOH-VOL. Low input noise margin is calculated from the formula: LNM = VOH-VIH over VOH-VOL.

Packaging
The venerable Dual-Inline package (DIP) is rapidly being replaced by Small Outline (SO), Shrink Small Outline (SSOP), Thin Shrink Small Outline (TSSOP), and Leadless Chip Carrier (LCC) packages for surface mounting. Savings in footprint area of up to 90% are possible with these newer packages.

Device Types
In general, the older the family the larger the quantity of different functional devices available. This is only natural since it takes time (and substantial resource investment) to design and reliably manufacture increasingly more complex devices. The newer TTL and CMOS families will undoubtedly grow, but because of competition from higher integrated devices, will be more limited in scope.


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