Passive and active circuits in cmos technology for rf, microwave and millimeter wave applications
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The permeation of CMOS technology to radio frequencies and beyond has fuelled an urgent need for a diverse array of passive and active circuits that address the challenges of rapidly emerging wireless applications. While traditional analog based design approaches satisfy some applications, the stringent requirements of newly emerging applications cannot necessarily be addressed by existing design ideas and compel designers to pursue alternatives. One such alternative, an amalgamation of microwave and analog design techniques, is pursued in this work. A number of passive and active circuits have been designed using a combination of microwave and analog design techniques. For passives, the most crucial challenge to their CMOS implementation is identified as their large dimensions that are not compatible with CMOS technology. To address this issue, several design techniques – including multi-layered design and slow wave structures – are proposed and demonstrated through experimental results after being suitably tailored for CMOS technology. A number of novel passive structures - including a compact 10 GHz hairpin resonator, a broadband, low loss 25-35 GHz Lange coupler, a 25-35 GHz thin film microstrip (TFMS) ring hybrid, an array of 0.8 nH and 0.4 nH multi-layered high self resonant frequency (SRF) inductors are proposed, designed and experimentally verified. A number of active circuits are also designed and notable experimental results are presented. These include 3-10 GHz and DC-20 GHz distributed low noise amplifiers (LNA), a dual wideband Low noise amplifier and 15 GHz distributed voltage controlled oscillators (DVCO). Distributed amplifiers are identified as particularly effective in the development of wideband receiver front end sub-systems due to their gain flatness, excellent matching and high linearity. The most important challenge to the implementation of distributed amplifiers in CMOS RFICs is identified as the issue of their miniaturization. This problem is solved by using integrated multi-layered inductors instead of transmission lines to achieve over 90% size compression compared to earlier CMOS implementations. Finally, a dual wideband receiver front end sub-system is designed employing the miniaturized distributed amplifier with resonant loads and integrated with a double balanced Gilbert cell mixer to perform dual band operation. The receiver front end measured results show 15 dB conversion gain, and a 1-dB compression point of -4.1 dBm in the centre of band 1 (from 3.1 to 5.0 GHz) and -5.2 dBm in the centre of band 2 (from 5.8 to 8 GHz) with input return loss less than 10 dB throughout the two bands of operation.
Chirala, Mohan Krishna (2007). Passive and active circuits in cmos technology for rf, microwave and millimeter wave applications. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from