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A Low Jitter Wideband Fractional-N Subsampling Phase Locked Loop (SSPLL)
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Frequency synthesizers have become a crucial building block in the evolution of modern communication systems and consumer electronics. The spectral purity performance of frequency synthesizers limits the achievable data-rate and presents a noise-power tradeoff. For communication standards such as LTE where the channel spacing is a few kHz, the synthesizers must provide high frequencies with sufficiently wide frequency tuning range and fine frequency resolutions. Such stringent performance must be met with a limited power and small chip area. In this thesis a wideband fractional-N frequency synthesizer based on a subsampling phase locked loop (SSPLL) is presented. The proposed synthesizer which has a frequency resolution less than 100Hz employs a digital fractional controller (DFC) and a 10-bit digital-to-time converter (DTC) to delay the rising edges of the reference clock to achieve fractional phase lock. For fast convergence of the delay calibration, a novel two-step delay correlation loop (DCL) is employed. Furthermore, to provide optimum settling and jitter performance, the loop transfer characteristics during frequency acquisition and phase-lock are decoupled using a dual input loop filter (DILF). The fractional-N sub-sampling PLL (FNSSPLL) is implemented in a TSMC 40nm CMOS technology and occupies a total active area of 0.41mm^2. The PLL operates over frequency range of 2.8 GHz to 4.3 GHz (42% tuning range) while consuming 9.18mW from a 1.1V supply. The integrated jitter performance is better than 390 fs across all fractional frequency channel. The worst case fractional spur of -48.3 dBc occurs at a 650 kHz offset for a 3.75GHz fractional channel. The in-band phase noise measured at a 200 kHz offset is -112.5 dBc/Hz.
Attah, Hubert (2016). A Low Jitter Wideband Fractional-N Subsampling Phase Locked Loop (SSPLL). Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from