PMOS logic

PMOS logic

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P-type metal-oxide-semiconductor logic uses p-type
P-type semiconductor
A P-type semiconductor is obtained by carrying out a process of doping: that is, adding a certain type of atoms to the semiconductor in order to increase the number of free charge carriers ....

 metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) to implement logic gate
Logic gate
A logic gate is an idealized or physical device implementing a Boolean function, that is, it performs a logical operation on one or more logic inputs and produces a single logic output. Depending on the context, the term may refer to an ideal logic gate, one that has for instance zero rise time and...

s and other digital circuit
Digital circuit
Digital electronics represent signals by discrete bands of analog levels, rather than by a continuous range. All levels within a band represent the same signal state...

s. PMOS transistors have four modes of operation: cut-off (or subthreshold), triode, saturation (sometimes called active), and velocity saturation.

The p-type MOSFETs are arranged in a so-called "pull-up network" (PUN) between the logic gate output and positive supply voltage, while a resistor is placed between the logic gate output and the negative supply voltage. The circuit is designed such that if the desired output is high, then the PUN will be active, creating a current path between the positive supply and the output.

While PMOS logic is easy to design and manufacture (a MOSFET can be made to operate as a resistor, so the whole circuit can be made with PMOS FETs), it has several shortcomings as well. The worst problem is that a DC current flows through a PMOS logic gate when the PUN is active, that is whenever the output is high. This leads to static power dissipation even when the circuit sits idle.

Also, PMOS circuits are slow to transition from high to low. When transitioning from low to high, the transistors provide low resistance, and the capacitative charge at the output accumulates very quickly (similar to charging a capacitor through a very low resistor). But the resistance between the output and the negative supply rail is much greater, so the high to low transition takes longer (similar to discharge a capacitor through a high resistor value). Using a resistor of lower value will speed up the process but also increases static power dissipation.

Additionally, the asymmetric input logic levels make PMOS circuits susceptible to noise.

Though initially easier to manufacture, PMOS logic was later supplanted by NMOS logic
NMOS logic
N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor logic uses n-type metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors to implement logic gates and other digital circuits...

 because NMOS is faster than PMOS. Modern fabs use CMOS
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor is a technology for constructing integrated circuits. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors, microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits...

, which uses both PMOS and NMOS transistors together. Static CMOS logic leverages the advantages of both by using NMOS and PMOS together in the wafer.