Integrated RF oscillators and LO signal generation circuits

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Aalto-yliopiston teknillinen korkeakoulu | Doctoral thesis (monograph)
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Verkkokirja (5517 KB, 221 s.)
TKK dissertations, 251
This thesis deals with fully integrated LC oscillators and local oscillator (LO) signal generation circuits. In communication systems a good-quality LO signal for up- and down-conversion in transmitters is needed. The LO signal needs to span the required frequency range and have good frequency stability and low phase noise. Furthermore, most modern systems require accurate quadrature (IQ) LO signals. This thesis tackles these challenges by presenting a detailed study of LC oscillators, monolithic elements for good-quality LC resonators, and circuits for IQ-signal generation and for frequency conversion, as well as many experimental circuits. Monolithic coils and variable capacitors are essential, and this thesis deals with good structures of these devices and their proper modeling. As experimental test devices, over forty monolithic inductors and thirty varactors have been implemented, measured and modeled. Actively synthesized reactive elements were studied as replacements for these passive devices. At first glance these circuits show promising characteristics, but closer noise and nonlinearity analysis reveals that these circuits suffer from high noise levels and a small dynamic range. Nine circuit implementations with various actively synthesized variable capacitors were done. Quadrature signal generation can be performed with three different methods, and these are analyzed in the thesis. Frequency conversion circuits are used for alleviating coupling problems or to expand the number of frequency bands covered. The thesis includes an analysis of single-sideband mixing, frequency dividers, and frequency multipliers, which are used to perform the four basic arithmetical operations for the frequency tone. Two design cases are presented. The first one is a single-sideband mixing method for the generation of WiMedia UWB LO-signals, and the second one is a frequency conversion unit for a digital period synthesizer. The last part of the thesis presents five research projects. In the first one a temperature-compensated GaAs MESFET VCO was developed. The second one deals with circuit and device development for an experimental-level BiCMOS process. A cable-modem RF tuner IC using a SiGe process was developed in the third project, and a CMOS flip-chip VCO module in the fourth one. Finally, two frequency synthesizers for UWB radios are presented.
Supervising professor
Halonen, Kari, Prof.
RF IC, VCO, LC oscillator, LO generation, UWB
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