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Efficient High-Performance Millimeter-Wave Front-End Integrated Circuit Designs and Techniques in SiGe BiCMOS
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This dissertation presents various “efficient” design techniques for mm-wave front-end integrated circuits in regards to dc power, bandwidth, and chip size. The ideas, while suitable for different CMOS/BiCMOS processes, were implemented using a 0.18-μm SiGe BiCMOS process. The proposed techniques are validated through the actual implementations of several building blocks constituting two different front-end sections: a V-band OOK/pulse transceiver front-end and a concurrent K-/V-band receiver front-end, where K-band ranges from 18 to 27 GHz and V-band from 40 to 75 GHz. As one of the constituent components in the V-band pulse transmitter, a 60-GHz active OOK/pulse modulator has been designed with an emphasis on the enhancement in the ON/OFF isolation. Having a decent gain (higher than 10 dB), the designed modulator can also be used as a driver stage, which can save the chip area and possibly the dc power consumption compared to the combination of a switch-based passive modulator and a drive amplifier. For the receiver front-end, a wideband V-band low-noise amplifier (LNA) has been designed. Employing a wideband gain shaping technique through two T-type inter-stage matching networks, the designed LNA features very high gain-bandwidth product compared to the conventional gain-staggered wideband amplifier designs for a given dc power consumption. For the concurrent K-/V-band receiver front-end, a low-noise and variable gain stages have been designed. As the first component of the receiver chain, a concurrent dual-band LNA has been designed within a similar footprint required for a single-band amplifier operating either at K- or V-band. The most significant direct intermodulation (IM) product and harmonics are suppressed by a simple rejection network between the input and cascode devices of the 1st stage. This network also plays a crucial role in achieving dual-band input matching through Miller effect. For amplitude control purposes in the RF stage, a variable gain amplifier (VGA) operating concurrently at K- and V-bands has been developed starting from a wideband amplifier design. By replacing the inductors in the wideband design with the transformer-coupled resonators (TCRs), the critical direct IM products can be suppressed without increasing the active chip area. Gain tuning is achieved by conventional current steering, but a new technique is applied to reduce phase variation in the course of gain tuning process, which is one of the most critical concerns, especially in phased array systems.
Jang, Sun Hwan (2016). Efficient High-Performance Millimeter-Wave Front-End Integrated Circuit Designs and Techniques in SiGe BiCMOS. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from