Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUSRE33676 E
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 07/596,151
Publication dateAug 27, 1991
Filing dateOct 11, 1990
Priority dateDec 27, 1985
Also published asUS4777390
Publication number07596151, 596151, US RE33676 E, US RE33676E, US-E-RE33676, USRE33676 E, USRE33676E
InventorsToshiaki Hoshi
Original AssigneeNec Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gate array circuit for decoding circuits
US RE33676 E
Abstract
A decoder circuit for decoding different combinations of supplied original input address bits, comprising at least one predecode circuit responsive to the original input address bits for producing predecoded signal bits from the input address bits, and a plurality of decoder units including at least one decoder unit responsive to at least two different combinations of the original input address bits, wherein the decoder units comprises a decoder unit responsive to selected ones of the predecoded signal bits alone and a decoder unit responsive to at least one of the predecoded signal bits and at least one of the original input address bits.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(4)
What is claimed is:
1. A decoder circuit for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signals on input signal lines, comprising at least one predecode circuit coupled to said input signal lines for producing predecoded output signals on output lines of said predecode circuit, and a plurality of decoder units including .[.at least one decoder unit coupled to at least two different combinations of said input signal lines, and.]. at least one decoder unit coupled to the combination of at least one of said output lines and at least one of said input signal lines.
2. A decoder circuit for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signals on input signal lines, comprising at least one predecode circuit coupled to said input signal lines for producing predecoded output signals on output lines of said predecode circuit, and a plurality of decoder units including .[.at least one decoder unit coupled to at least two different combinations of said input signal lines,.]. at least one decoder unit coupled to selected ones of said output signal lines alone and a decoder unit coupled to at least one of said output signal lines and at least one of said input signal lines.
3. A decoder circuit as set forth in claim 1 or 2, in which each of said plurality of decoder units comprises a logic NAND gate.
4. A semiconductor decoder circuit including a plurality of decoder units for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signals on input signal lines, comprising:
a first set of signal lines formed on a semiconductor structure, the first set of signal lines comprising a first group of signal lines connected to a source of a first predetermined voltage and a second group of signal lines connected to a source of a second predetermined voltage,
a second set of signal lines formed on a semiconductor structure and extending substantially at right angles to said first set of signal lines, the second set of signal lines comprising a third group of signal lines respectively coupled to output signal lines having output signals predecoded from the input signals on selected ones of said input signal lines and a fourth group of signal lines respectively coupled to the input signals on selected ones of said input signal lines,
a first set of field-effect transistors selectively connected in series to the source of said first predetermined voltage along each of the signal lines of said first predetermined voltage along each of the signal lines of said first group, each of the first set of field-effect transistors being of one channel conductivity type, and
a second set of field-effect transistors selectively connected in parallel to the source of said second predetermined voltage along each of the signal lines of said second group, each of the second set of field-effect transistors being of the channel conductivity type opposite to said one channel conductivity type, the second set of field-effect transistors having their gates selectively connected to the signal lines of said third and fourth groups,
the first set of field-effect transistors arranged along each of the signal lines of said first group and the second set of field-effect transistors arranged along each of the signal lines of said second group implementing each of said decoder units.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to semiconductor devices and, more particularly, to a decoder circuit for use in a semiconductor memory device such as a read-only memory (ROM) or a random-access memory (RAM) which per se is well known in the art.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A certain type of address decoder circuit for use in a semiconductor memory device such as a ROM or RAM device consists of decoder units of a number less than the number of the possible combinations of the bits forming an address signal to be supplied to the decoder circuit. A typical example of such a decoder circuit is the one used for a ROM device which is incorporated in a microprocessor to store microprogramming codes therein. Such a decoder circuit is directly responsive to the original input address signals so that, where each of the original input address signal consists of six bits, a maximum of 26 =64 different combinations or sequences of bits could be used in the decoder circuit. In comparison with such a large number of possible decoder outputs, the decoder circuit actually has a far smaller number of outputs such as, for example, only twelve outputs and, for this reason, requires the provision of a disproportionately large number of active devices or transistors. Such a large number of active devices used in the decoder circuit inevitably results in correspondingly large amounts of capacitances provided by the diffusion regions of the individual active devices and accordingly in reduction in the switching speed achievable of the decoder circuit.

An address decoder circuit of the described type thus sometimes uses a predecode scheme for the purpose of reducing the number of the transistors to be used in the decoder circuit and thereby increasing the switching speed achievable of the circuit. The decoder circuit to implement such a scheme comprises a suitable number of 2-bit predecode circuits which are directly responsive to the original input signal bits. Each of the 2-bit predecode circuits is operative to predecode neighboring two of the original input address bits by producing a total of four different logic ANDs of the two bits and the inverted versions of the two bits. The predecoded signal bits thus produced by the 2-bit predecode circuits are used in some of the decoder units so that only one of the two original input address bits which have resulted in each of the predecoded signal bits is effective in the particular decoder unit with the other of the two bits virtually neglected from use. The result is accordingly that there exits address bits which are not used in the decoder circuit. Such a scheme of the decoder circuit inevitably results in irregularities in the geometrical topology of the decoder circuit fabricated on a semiconductor chip.

It is, thus, an important object of the present invention to provide an improved decoder circuit which is composed of a minimized number of active devices to achieve an increased switching speed of the decoder circuit.

It is another important object of the present invention to provide an improved predecode decoder circuit which effectively uses the original input address bits supplied to the decoder circuit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one outstanding aspect of the present invention, there is provided a decoder circuit for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signal bits, comprising (a) at least one predecode circuit responsive to the original input signal bits for producing predecoded signal bits from the input signal bits, and (b) a plurality of decoder units including at least one decoder unit responsive to at least two different combinations of the original input signal bits, characterized in that the decoder units comprises a decoder unit responsive to the combination of at least one of the predecoded signal bits and at least one of the original input signal bits.

In accordance with another outstanding aspect of the present invention, there is provided a decoder circuit for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signal bits, comprising (a) at least one predecode circuit responsive to the original input signal bits for producing predecoded signal bits from the input signal bits, and (b) a plurality of decoder units including at least one decoder unit responsive to at least two different combinations of the original input signal bits, wherein the decoder units comprises a decoder unit responsive to selected ones of the predecoded signal bits alone and a decoder unit responsive to at least one of the predecoded signal bits and at least one of the original input signal bits.

In accordance with still another outstanding aspect of the present invention, there is provided a semiconductor decoder circuit including a plurality of decoder units for decoding different combinations of supplied original input signal bits, comprising (a) a first set of signal lines formed on a semiconductor structure, the first set of signal lines comprising a first group of signal lines connected to a source of a first predetermined voltage and a second group of signal lines connected to a source of a second predetermined voltage, (b) a second set of signal lines formed on a semiconductor structure and extending substantially at right angles to the first set of signal lines, the second set of signal lines comprising a third group of signal lines respectively responsive to predecoded signal bits predecoded from selected ones of the original input signal bits and a fourth group of signal lines respectively responsive to selected ones of the original input signal bits (c) a first set of field-effect transistors selectively connected in series to the source of the first predetermined voltage along each of the signal lines of the first group, each of the first set of field-effect transistors being of one channel conductivity type, and (d) a second set of field-effect transistors selectively connected in parallel to the source of the second predetermined voltage along each of the signal lines of the second group, each of the second set of field-effect transistors being of the channel conductivity type opposite to the one channel conductivity type, each of the second set of field-effect transistors having their gates selectively connected to the signal lines of the third and fourth groups, (e) the first set of field-effect transistors arranged along each of the signal lines of the first group and the second set of field-effect transistors arranged along each of the signal lines of the second group implementing each of the decoder units.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawbacks of a prior-art address decoder circuit and the features and advantages of a decoder circuit according to the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a circuit diagram showing a typical known example of an address decoder circuit used for a ROM device storing microprogramming codes in a microprocessor;

FIGS. 2A and 2B are address maps depicting the schedules in accordance with which the decoder units of the decoder circuit shown in FIG. 1 are to produce output signal bits in response to the original address bits input to the decoder circuit, FIG. 2A showing such schedules in non-matrix form and FIG. 2B showing similar schedules in matrix form;

FIG. 3 is a circuit diagram showing a preferred example of an address decoder circuit which implements a two-bit predecode scheme;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing the logical configuration of a preferred embodiment of a decoder circuit according to the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a circuit diagram showing a preferred example of the circuit arrangement implementing the logical configuration of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

As has been noted at the outset of the description, a certain type of address decoder circuit for use in a semiconductor memory device consists of decoder units of a number less than the number of the possible combinations of the bits forming an address signal to be supplied to the decoder circuit. FIG. 1 of the drawings shows a typical example of such a decoder circuit. The decoder circuit herein shown is used for a ROM device incorporated in a microprocessor for storing microprogramming codes therein and is by way of example assumed to be designed for use with a 12-word ROM device (not shown). The decoder circuit is made up of a number of n-channel field-effect transistors respectively denoted by N01 to N27 and p-channel field-effect transistors respectively denoted by P01 to P27. These n-channel and p-channel N01 to N27 and P01 to P27 are arranged to form twelve decoder units D0, D1, D2, . . . D11 each including a plurality of full CMCS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) inverters implemented by the field-effect transistors N01 to N27 and P01 to P27. The decoder units D0, D1, D2, . . . D11 further include logic inverters I0 to I11, respectively, which provide output address bits of the individual decoder units D0 to D11, respectively. The decoder units D0 to D11 are responsive directly to original, viz., supplied address signals through a total of twelve signal input lines which consist of six lines respectively responsive to supplied address bits A0 to A5 and six lines respectively responsive to the inverted versions A0 to A5 of the supplied address bits A0 to A5. Each of the decoder units D0 to D11 consists of n-channel MOS field-effect transistors connected in series between ground and each of the logic inverters I0 to I11 and p-channel MOS field-effect transistors connected in parallel between a source of a supply voltage VCC and each of the inverters I.sub. 0 to I11 as shown. The logic inverters I0 to I11 of the decoder units D0 to D11 are respectively connected to the word lines of the memory cell array (not shown).

The n-channel field-effect transistors N01 to N27 and p-channel field-effect transistors P01 to P27 forming the decoder circuit are arranged so that the individual decoder units D0 to D11 of the decoder circuit are operative to produce output address bits O1 to O11 in response to the supplied address bits A0 to A5 and A0 to A5 in accordance with the schedules represented by an address map depicted in non-matrix form in FIG. 2A and in matrix form in FIG. 2B. The sign "X" in the non-matrix address map shown in FIG. 2A indicates an indeterminate or variable bit which may be of either logic "0" or "1" value. In the matrix address map shown in FIG. 2B, the axis of abscissa represents binary digits 000, 001, 011, . . . 111 (increasing from left to right) coded by the lower three of the six supplied address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 while the axis of ordinate represents binary digits (000, 001, 011, . . . 111 (increasing downwardly) coded by the upper three of the address bits A0 to A5. As will be seen from these address maps, each of the decoder units D2 and D7 of the address decoder circuit is operable for selecting one of two different sequences of address bits 000010 and 000011 (D2) or 100100 and 100101 (D7). On the other hand, each of the decoder units D3 and D6 is operable for selecting any one of four different sequences of address bits 000000, 00001, 000010 and 000011 (D3) or 100000, 100001, 100010, 1000011 (D6). Furthermore, each of the decoder units D4, D5, D11 and D12 is operable for selecting any one of a total of eight different sequences of address bits.

When an original input signal A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 in the form of, for example 00001X is supplied to the decoder circuit shown in FIG. 1, all the n-channel field-effect transistors N13,N14, N15, N16 and N17 forming part of the decoder unit D2 are turned on and all the associated p-channel field-effect transistors P13, P14, P15, P16 and P17 of the decoder unit D2 remain in non-conduction states. Under this condition, the decoder unit D2 produces a logic "1" bit at the output terminal of the inverter I2 as the output signal bit O2 of the decoder unit D2.

The known address decoder circuit thus constructed is directly responsive to the original input address signals, each of which consists of six bits yields a maximum of 26 =64 different combinations or sequences of bits. In comparison with such a large number of possible decoder outputs, the decoder circuit actually has only twelve outputs and, as a corollary of this, necessitates a disproportionately large number of active devices or transistors. As a matter of fact, the decoder unit D0 which uses all the supplied address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 available is composed of a total of twelve transistors which consist of the three series connected n-channel field-effect transistors N01 to N06 and the three parallel connected p-channel field-effect transistors N01 to N06 and P01 to P06. Even each of the decoder units D10 and D11 (as well the decoder units D5 and D6 not shown) which uses the minimum number of input address bits is composed of a total of six field-effect transistors N22 to N24 and P22 to P24 or N25 to N27 and P25 to P27. Such a large number of field-effect transistors used in the decoder circuit inevitably results in correspondingly large amounts of capacitances provided by the source and drain diffusion regions of the transistors and accordingly in reduction in the switching speed achievable of the decoder circuit. This drawback of a known address decoder circuit is pronounced in a static decoder circuit implemented by full CMOS configuration as in the case of the prior-art decoder circuit shown in FIG. 1.

Whichever of NAND-based logics or NOR-based logics may be adopted in such a full CMOS address decoder circuit, either the n-channel field-effect transistors or the p-channel field-effect transistors implementing the decoder circuit must be connected in series. The larger the number of the series connected field-effect transistors, the lower the performance efficiencies of the individual transistors and accordingly the lower the switching speed of the entire decoder circuit.

Thus, an address decoder circuit of the type shown in FIG. 1 sometimes uses a predecode scheme for the purpose of reducing the number of the transistors to be used in the decoder circuit and thereby increasing the switching speed achievable of the circuit. FIG. 3 of the drawings shows a preferred example of an address decoder circuit which implements such a predecode scheme.

The decoder circuit herein shown is arranged to produce output address bits O0 to O11 responsive to original input address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 also in accordance with the schedules represented by the address map of FIGS. 2A or 2B. The decoder circuit is also assumed to comprise a total of twelve decoder units including the shown decoder units D2, D10 and D11 which are formed by n-channel field-effect transistors N28 to N36 and p-channel field-effect transistors P28 to P36 and which include logic inverters including the inverters I2, I10 and I11, respectively. The decoder circuit further comprises first, second and third 2-bit predecode circuits PD1, PD2 and PD3 which are directly responsive to the original input signal bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5. Each of these 2-bit predecode circuits PD1, PD2 and PD3 is operative to predecode neighboring two bits (A2i and A2i+1 where i=0, 1 or 2) of the supplied original input address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5. The first 2-bit predecode circuit PD1 is responsive to the lower two A0 and A1 of the original input address bits A0, A1, . . . A5 to produce four different output bits B00, B01, B02 and B03 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A0 A1 , A0 A1, A0 A1 and A0 A1 of the input bits A0 and A1 and the respective inverted versions thereof. The second 2-bit predecode circuit PD2 is responsive to the intermediate two A2 and A3 of the original input address bits A0 to A5 to produce four different output bits B10, B11, B12 and B13 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A2 A3, A2 A3, A2 A3 and A2 -A3 of the input bits A2 and A3 and the respective inverted versions thereof. The third 2-bit predecode circuit PD3 is responsive to the intermediate two A4 and A5 of the original input address bits A0 to A5 to produce four different output bits B20, B21, B22 and B23 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A4 A5, A4 A5 and A4 A5 of the input bits A4 and A5 and the respective inverted versions thereof.

When an original input signal A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 in the form of, for example, 00001X is supplied to the decoder circuit thus constructed and arranged, the output bits B02, B03, B10 and B20 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A0 A1, A0 A1, A2 A3 and A4 A5 of the supplied address bits assume logic "X", "X", "1" and "1" states. Of the field-effect transistors forming part of the decoder unit. D2, for example, of the circuit shown in FIG. 3, the series connected n-channel field-effect transistors N30 and N31 and one of the parallel connected n-channel field-effect transistors N28 and N29 are thus turned on and the series connected p-channel field-effect transistors P30 and P31 and one of the parallel connected p-channel field-effect transistors P28 and P29 are held in non-conduction states. Under this condition, the decoder unit D2 produces a logic "1" signal at the output terminal of the inverter I2 as the output signal bit O2 of the decoder unit D2 as in the prior-art address decoder circuit shown in FIG. 1.

In the decoder units D2 of the circuit shown in FIG. 3, the predecoded signal bits B02 and B03 produced by the first 2-bit predecode circuit PD1 are supplied to the parallel combination of the n-channel field-effect transistors N28 and N29 of the decoder unit D2 to produce a logic sum or OR, viz., (A0 A1 +A0 A1)=A1 of the supplied bits. The predecoded signal bits B02 and B03 are also supplied to the series combination of the p-channel field-effect transistors P28 and P29 of the decoder unit D2 to produce a logic OR, viz., (A0 A1) +(A0 A1) =A1 of the supplied bits. Likewise, the predecoded signal bits B10 and B12 produced by the second 2-bit predecode circuit PD2 are supplied to the parallel connected n-channel field-effect transistors N32 and N33 and series connected p-channel field-effect transistors P32 and P33 of the decoder unit D10 to produce a logic OR, viz., (A2 A3 +A2 A3) =A2 and a logic OR, viz., (A2 A3)-+(A2 A3) =A2 of the supplied bits. In the decoder unit D11, furthermore, a logic OR, viz., (A2 A3 +A2 A3) =A2 is produced in response to the predecoded signal bits B10 and B12 produced by the second 2-bit predecode circuit PD2.

In the decoder circuit shown in FIG. 3, the neighboring two A2i and A2i of the supplied original input address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 are thus predecoded by each of the of 2-bit predecode circuits PD1, PD2 and PD3 into signal bits B00 to B23 each of which is provided by the logic AND of the supplied address bit A2i or the inverted version thereof and the supplied address bit A2i+l or the inverted version thereof. The predecoded signal bits B00 to B23 are used in the decoder units D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D10 and D11 so that only one of the two original input address bits such as, for example, the address bit A1 for the decoder unit D2 or the address bit A2 for the decoder unit D10 or D11 is effective in the particular decoder unit. This means that the other of the two bits A2i and A2i is virtually neglected from use. Such a scheme of the decoder circuit results in irregularities in the geometrical topology of the decoder circuit fabricated on a semiconductor chip because of the fact that the individual decoder units D0, D1, D2, . . . D11 each of which should be configured by active devices and interconnections patterned with irregularity will differ in topology from one circuit to another.

The present invention contemplates elimination of such a problem inherent in a two-bit predecode decoder circuit of the described nature. Accordingly, the goal of the present invention is to provide an improved decoder circuit which is composed of a minimized number of active devices to achieve an increased switching speed of the decoder circuit and which effectively uses the original input address bits supplied to the decoder circuit, as previously noted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 4 of the drawings shows the logical configuration of a preferred embodiment of a decoder circuit according to the present invention. The decoder circuit herein shown is also assumed to be designed for use with a 12-word ROM device (not shown) by way of example and thus comprises twelve decoder units D0, D1, D2, . . . D11. The decoder units D0, D1, D2, . . . D11 in turn comprise two-input and three-input logic NAND gates G0, G1, G2, . . . G11, respectively, and logic inverters I0, I1, I2, . . . I11 respectively connected to the output terminals of the NAND gates G0, G1, G2, . . . G11 to provide output address bits of the individual decoder units D0 to D11.

The decoder circuit embodying the present invention further comprises first, second and third 2-bit predecode circuits PD1, PD2 and PD3 which are directly responsive to original input signal bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 and the inverted versions A0, A1, A2, . . . A5, respectively, thereof. Each of these 2-bit predecode circuits PD1, PD2 and PD3 is operative to predecode neighboring two bits A2i and A2i +l of the supplied original input address bits A0, A1, A2, . . . A5 similarly to their counterparts in the decoder circuit described with reference to FIG. 3. Thus, the first 2-bit predecode circuit PD1 is responsive to the lower two A0 and A1 of the original input address bits A0, A1, . . . A5 to produce four different output bits B00, B01 , B02 and B03 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A0 A1, A0 A1, A0 A1, A0 A1 and A0 A1 of the input address bits A0 and A1 and the respective inverted versions thereof. The second 2-bit predecode circuit PD2 is responsive to the intermediate two A2 and A3 of the original input address bits A0 to A5 to produce four different output bits B10, B11, B12 and B13 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A2 A3, A2 A3, A2 A3 and A2 A3 of the input address bits A2 and A3 and the respective inverted versions thereof. The third 2-bit predecode circuit PD3 is responsive to the intermediate two A4 and A5 of the original input address bits A0 to A5 to produce four different output bits B20, B21, B22 and B23 respectively representative of the logic ANDs A4 A5, A4 A5, A5 A5 and A4 A5 of the input address bits A4 and A5 and the respective inverted versions thereof. The decoder circuit thus comprising the twelve NAND gates G0 to G11 are responsive to the original input address bits A0 to A5 and the respective inverted versions of these bits and to the signal bits B00 to B23 through a total of twelve input lines as shown. The individual decoder units D0 to D11 are implemented by full CMOS configuration and are operative to produce output address bits O1 to O11 in response to the supplied address bits A0 to A5 and A0 to A5 basically also in accordance with the schedules represented by the address maps depicted in FIGS. 2A and 2B.

FIG. 5 shows an example of the transistor circuit arrangement implementing the logical configuration of the decoder circuit thus constructed.

As shown, the three-input NAND gate G0 of the decoder unit D0 comprises three n-channel field-effect transistors N40, N41 and N42 connected in series between the logic inverter I0 and ground and three p-channel field-effect transistors P40, P41 and P42 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I0 and a source of a supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N40 and P40 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B00, the field-effect transistors N41 and P41 have their gates responsive to the preselected signal bit B10, and the field-effect transistors N42 and P43 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B20.

The three-input NAND gate G1 of the decoder unit D1 comprises three n-channel field-effect transistors N43, N44 and N45 connected in series between the logic inverter I1 and ground and three p-channel field-effect transistors P43, P44 and P45 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I1 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N43 and P43 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B01, the field-effect transistors N44 and P44 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B10, and the field-effect transistors N45 and P45 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B20.

The three-input NAND gate G2 of the decoder unit D2 comprises three n-channel field-effect transistors N46, N47 and N48 connected in series between the logic inverter I2 and ground and three p-channel field-effect transistors P46, P47 and P48 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I2 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N46 and P46 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B10, the field-effect transistors N47 and P47 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B20, and the field-effect transistors N48 and P48 have their gates responsive to the original input address bit A1.

The two-bit NAND gate G3 of the decoder unit D3 comprises two n-channel field-effect transistors N49 and N50 connected in series between the logic inverter I3 and ground and two p-channel field-effect transistors P49 and P50 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I3 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N49 and P49 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B11 and the field-effect transistors N50 and P50 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B20.

As will be seen from FIG. 4, each of the two-input NAND gates G4, G5 and G6 of the decoder units D4, D5 and D6, respectively, comprises two n-channel field-effect transistors connected in series between each of the logic inverters I4, I5 and I6 and ground and two p-channel field-effect transistors connected in parallel between each of the logic inverters I4, I5 and I6 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. One pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G4 have their responsive to the predecoded signal bit B20 and the other pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G4 have their gates responsive to the original input address bit A3. One pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G5 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B21 and the other pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G5 have their gates also responsive to the original input address bit A3. Furthermore, one pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G6 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B10 and the other pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G5 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B22.

As will be further seen from FIG. 4, each of the three-input NAND gates G7, G8 and G9 of the decoder units D7, D8 and D9, respectively, comprises three n-channel field-effect transistors connected in series between each of the logic inverters I7, I8 and I9 and ground and two p-channel field-effect transistors connected in parallel between each of the logic inverters I7, I8 and I9 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. One pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G7 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B11, another pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G7 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B22, and the remaining pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G7 have their gates responsive to the inverted address bit A1. One pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G8 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B02, another pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G8 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B11, and the remaining pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G8 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B22. Furthermore, one pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G9 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B03, another pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G9 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B11, and the remaining pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G9 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B11, and the remaining pair of n-channel and p-channel field-effect transistors of the NAND gate G8 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B22.

As shown in FIG. 5, the two-input NAND gate G10 of the decoder unit D10 comprises two n-channel field-effect transistors N51 and N52 connected in series between the logic inverter I10 and ground and two p-channel field-effect transistors P51 and P52 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I10 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N51 and P51 have their gates responsive to the predecoded signal bit B23 and the field-effect transistors N52 and P52 have their gates responsive to the inverted address bit A2. Lastly, the two-input NAND gate G11 of the decoder unit D11 comprises two n-channel field-effect transistors N53 and N54 connected in series between the logic inverter I11 and ground and two p-channel field-effect transistors P53 and P54 connected in parallel between the logic inverter I11 and the source of the supply voltage VCC. The field-effect transistors N53 and P53 have their gates also responsive to the predecoded signal bit B23 and the field-effect transistors N54 and P54 have their gates responsive to the original input address bit A2 as shown.

It may be herein noted that FIG. 5 herein presented shows not only the general circuit arrangement or interconnections between the individual transistors used but also a preferred example of the layout of the transistors arranged in rows and columns on a semiconductor integrated circuit chip in conjunction with the terminals providing the supply voltage source and ground lines.

The active devices of the decoder circuit being thus arranged, the respective NAND gates G0 to G11 of the decoder units D0 to D11 are operative to produce output bits O0 to O11 in accordance with the schemes represented by the following Boolean expressions:

O0 =(A0 A1)(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O1 =(A0 A1)(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O2 =A1 (A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O3 =(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A2 A3 A4 A5

O4 =A3 (A4 A5)=A3 A4 A5

O5 =A3 (A4 A5)=A3 A4 A5

O6 =(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A2 A3 A4 A5

O7 =A1 (A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O8 =(A0 A1)(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O9 =(A0 A1)(A2 A3)(A4 A5)=A0 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5

O10 =A2 (A4 A5)=A2 A4 A5

O11 =A2 (A4 A5)=A2 A4 A5

As will be seen from the address maps of FIGS. 2A and 2B, the address bits O0 to O11 produced by the individual decoder units D0 to D11 , viz., appearing at the output terminals of the logic inverters I0 to I11, respectively, assume logic "0" values as follows:

The output address bit O0 assumes a logic "0" value when all of the original input address bits A0 to A5 are of logic "0". The output address bit O1 assumes a logic "0" value when the original input address bit A0 is of a logic "1" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A1 to A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O2 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bit A0 when the original input address bit A1 is of a logic "1" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A2 to A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O3 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0 and A1 when the original input address bit A2 is of a logic "1" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A3 to A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O4 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0 to A2 when the original input address bit A3 is of a logic "1" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A4 and A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O5 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0 to A2 when each of the original input address bits A3 and A4 is of a logic "1" value and the remaining original input address bit A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O6 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0 and A1 when each of the original input address bits A2 to A4 is of a logic "0" value and the remaining original input address bit A5 is of a logic "1" value. The output address bit O7 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bit A0 when the original input address bits A1, A3 and A4 is of a logic "0" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A2 and A5 is of a logic "1" value. The output address bit O8 assumes a logic "0" value when each of the original input address bits A0, A3 and A4 is of a logic "0" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A1, A2 and A5 is of a logic "1" value. The output address bit O9 assumes a logic "0" value when each of the original input address bits A0, A1, A2 and A5 is of a logic "1" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A3 and A5 is of a logic "0" value. The output address bit O10 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0, A1 and A3 when the original input address bit A2 is of a logic "0" value and each of the remaining original input address bits A4 and A5 is of a logic "1" value. The output address bit O11 assumes a logic "0" value without respect to the original input address bits A0, A1 and A3 when all the remaining input address bits A2, A4 and A5 are of logic "1" values.

Thus, each of the decoder units D0, D1, D8 and D9 is responsive to all of the six supplied original input address bits A0 to A5. Accordingly, each of these decoder units D0, D1, D8 and D9 is responsive to a single unique sequence or combination of the input address bits and is accordingly comprised of a three-input NAND gate responsive to three of the predecoded signal bits alone. Each of the decoder units D2 and D7 is not responsive to one of the supplied original input address bits A0 to A5 and is thus responsive to two different sequences or combinations of the input address bits. Each of these two decoder units D2 and D7 may therefore be comprised of a three-input NAND gate responsive to two of the predecoded signal bits and one of the original input address bits. Each of the decoder units D3 and D6 is not responsive to two of the supplied original input address bits A0 to A5 and is thus responsive to four different sequences or combinations of the input address bits and may therefore be comprised of a two-input NAND gate for being responsive to two of the predecoded signal bits alone. Each of the decoder units D4, D5, D10 and D11 is not responsive to three of the supplied original input address bits A0 to A5 and is responsive to eight different sequences or combinations of the input address bits. Each of these decoder units D4, D5, D10 and D11 may therefore be also comprised of a two-input NAND gate for being responsive to one of the predecoded signal bits and one of the original input address bits.

From the above discussion it will have been understood that the decoder units D0 to D11 of the decoder circuit embodying the present invention are broken down to four different categories which consist of a first category including the decoder units D0, D2, D8 and D9 each including a three-input NAND gate responsive to predecoded signal bits alone, a second category including the decoder units D3 and D6 each including a two-input NAND gate also responsive to predecoded signal bits alone, a third category including the decoder units D2 and D7 each including a three-input NAND gate responsive to predecoded signal bits and an original input address bit, and a fourth category including the decoder units D4, D5, D10 and D11 each including a two-input NAND gate responsive to a predecoded signal bit and an original input address bit. In each of the decoder units D2 and D7 which fall within the third category, the original input address bit used directly by the decoder unit is selected from the bits other than those which have resulted in the two predecoded signal bits used by the decoder unit. In each of the decoder units D4, D5, D10 and D11 which fall within the fourth category, the original input address bit used is also selected from the bits other than those which have resulted in the single predecoded signal bit used by the decoder unit.

As will have been seen from the foregoing description, the decoder circuit embodying the present invention is characterized in that, inter alia, the predecoded signal bits are used in combination with the original input address bits in most of the decoder units such as the decoder units D2, D4, D5, D7 , D10 and D11. For this reason, each of the decoder units D0 to D11 of the decoder circuit embodying the present invention can be implemented by a two-input or three-input NAND gate and can accordingly be composed of only two or three CMOS transistor parts in addition to the associated logic converter. Such a configuration of the decoder circuit embodying the present invention is prominently contrasted by a prior-art address decoder circuit which includes more than three CMOS transistor pairs as described with reference to FIG. 1. A decoder circuit according to the present invention is thus advantageous for its simplicity of construction and accordingly for the reduced switching time achievable of the decoder circuit over a prior-art decoder circuit of the described nature. The reduction in the number of series connected n-channel field-effect transistors of each of the decoder units significantly contributes to reduction in the transconductance (gm) of the decoder unit as a whole and will make it possible further reduce the switching time of the decoder circuit.

While the predecode circuits used in the described embodiment of a decoder circuit have been assumed to be of the two-bit predecode type, any other types of predecode circuits such as six-bit or three-bit predecode circuits may alternatively be used in a decoder circuit according to the present invention.

Furthermore, all of the input lines for the original input address bits and the inverted versions thereof have been shown connected to the decoder circuit but, if desired, only those for the original input address bits A1, A2 and A3 and the inverted version A2 of the original input address bit A2 which are used directly by the decoder circuit may be connected to the decoder circuit. In this instance, the other input lines may be connected only to the predecode circuit PD1, PD2 and PD3 without being extended far to the decoder units per se.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4031477 *Apr 26, 1976Jun 21, 1977Motorola, Inc.System for transferring four commands over a single conductor utilizing dual threshold logic gates
US4069426 *Oct 5, 1976Jan 17, 1978Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.Complementary MOS logic circuit
US4602347 *Aug 20, 1982Jul 22, 1986Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.Microcomputer addressing system and electronic timepiece utilizing the same
US4625130 *May 30, 1984Nov 25, 1986Burroughs CorporationMask signal generator
US4675556 *Jun 9, 1986Jun 23, 1987Intel CorporationBinomially-encoded finite state machine
JPS5748834A * Title not available
Classifications
U.S. Classification326/106, 326/102, 365/231, 708/230
International ClassificationH03M7/00, G11C11/413, G11C8/10, G11C11/408
Cooperative ClassificationG11C8/10
European ClassificationG11C8/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 25, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: NEC ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NEC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013774/0295
Effective date: 20021101