Design and characterization of monolithic millimeter-wave active and passive components, low-noise and power amplifiers, resistive mixers, and radio front-ends

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Volume Title
Aalto-yliopiston teknillinen korkeakoulu | Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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Date
2010
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Verkkokirja (1476 KB, 83 s.)
Series
TKK dissertations, 218
Abstract
This thesis focuses on the design and characterization of monolithic active and passive components, low-noise and power amplifiers, resistive mixers, and radio front-ends for millimeter-wave applications. The thesis consists of 11 publications and an overview of the research area, which also summarizes the main results of the work. In the design of millimeter-wave active and passive components the main focus is on realized CMOS components and techniques for pushing nanoscale CMOS circuits beyond 100 GHz. Test structures for measuring and analyzing these components are shown. Topologies for a coplanar waveguide, microstrip line, and slow-wave coplanar waveguide that are suitable for implementing transmission lines in nanoscale CMOS are presented. It is demonstrated that the proposed slow-wave coplanar waveguide improves the performance of the transistor-matching networks when compared to a conventional coplanar waveguide and the floating slow-wave shield reduces losses and simplifies modeling when extended below other passives, such as DC decoupling and RF short-circuiting capacitors. Furthermore, wideband spiral transmission line baluns in CMOS at millimeter-wave frequencies are demonstrated. The design of amplifiers and a wideband resistive mixer utilizing the developed components in 65-nm CMOS are shown. A 40-GHz amplifier achieved a +6-dBm 1-dB output compression point and a saturated output power of 9.6 dBm with a miniature chip size of 0.286 mm². The measured noise figure and gain of the 60-GHz amplifier were 5.6 dB and 11.5 dB, respectively. The V-band balanced resistive mixer achieved a 13.5-dB upconversion loss and 34-dB LO-to-RF isolation with a chip area of 0.47 mm². In downconversion, the measured conversion loss and 1-dB input compression point were 12.5 dB and +5 dBm, respectively. The design and experimental results of low-noise and power amplifiers are presented. Two wideband low-noise amplifiers were implemented in a 100-nm metamorphic high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology. The amplifiers achieved a 22.5-dB gain and a 3.3-dB noise figure at 94 GHz and a 18-19-dB gain and a 5.5-7.0-dB noise figure from 130 to 154 GHz. A 60-GHz power amplifier implemented in a 150-nm pseudomorphic HEMT technology exhibited a +17-dBm 1-dB output compression point with a 13.4-dB linear gain. In this thesis, the main system-level aspects of millimeter-wave transmitters and receivers are discussed and the experimental circuits of a 60-GHz transmitter front-end and a 60-GHz receiver with an on-chip analog-to-digital converter implemented in 65-nm CMOS are shown. The receiver exhibited a 7-dB noise figure, while the saturated output power of the transmitter front-end was +2 dBm. Furthermore, a wideband W-band transmitter front-end with an output power of +6.6 dBm suitable for both image-rejecting superheterodyne and direct-conversion transmission is demonstrated in 65-nm CMOS.
Description
Supervising professor
Halonen, Kari, Prof.
Keywords
balun, CMOS, low-noise amplifier, millimeter-wave receiver, millimeter-wave transmitter, MMIC, power amplifier, resistive mixer, slow-wave shield, transmission line
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Parts
  • [Publication 1]: Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Kantanen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2008. Millimeter-wave integrated circuits in 65-nm CMOS. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, volume 43, number 9, pages 1991-2002. © 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 2]: Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Varonen, Dan Sandström, Tero Tikka, Saska Lindfors, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2008. Design aspects of 65-nm CMOS MMICs. In: Proceedings of the 3rd European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC 2008). Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 27-28 October 2008, pages 115-118. © 2008 European Microwave Association (EuMA). By permission.
  • [Publication 3]: Dan Sandström, Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, and Kari Halonen. 60 GHz amplifier employing slow-wave transmission lines in 65-nm CMOS. Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing, accepted for publication. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media. By permission.
  • [Publication 4]: Dan Sandström, Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2009. W-band CMOS amplifiers achieving +10 dBm saturated output power and 7.5 dB NF. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, volume 44, number 12, pages 3403-3409. © 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 5]: Dan Sandström, Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2010. A W-band 65nm CMOS transmitter front-end with 8GHz IF bandwidth and 20dB IR-ratio. In: Digest of Technical Papers of the 2010 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2010). San Francisco, CA, USA. 7-11 February 2010, pages 418-419. © 2010 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 6]: Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Jan Riska, Pekka Kangaslahti, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2005. Resistive HEMT mixers for 60-GHz broad-band telecommunication. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, volume 53, number 4, pages 1322-1330. © 2005 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 7]: Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kaltiokallio, Ville Saari, Olli Viitala, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Saska Lindfors, Jussi Ryynänen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2009. A 60-GHz CMOS receiver with an on-chip ADC. In: Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC 2009). Boston, MA, USA. 7-9 June 2009, pages 445-448. © 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 8]: Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Varonen, Dan Sandström, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2009. 60-GHz receiver and transmitter front-ends in 65-nm CMOS. In: 2009 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest (IMS 2009). Boston, MA, USA. 7-12 June 2009, pages 577-580. © 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). By permission.
  • [Publication 9]: Mikko Varonen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Kantanen, Mikko Laaninen, Timo Karttaavi, Rainer Weber, Arnulf Leuther, Matthias Seelmann-Eggebert, Tapani Närhi, Janne Lahtinen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2007. W-band low-noise amplifiers. Proceedings of the European Microwave Association, volume 3, number 4, pages 358-366. © 2007 European Microwave Association (EuMA). By permission.
  • [Publication 10]: Mikko Kantanen, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Varonen, Mikko Laaninen, Timo Karttaavi, Rainer Weber, Arnulf Leuther, Matthias Seelmann-Eggebert, Tapani Närhi, Janne Lahtinen, and Kari A. I. Halonen. 2008. Low noise amplifiers for D-band. Proceedings of the European Microwave Association, volume 4, number 4, pages 268-275. © 2008 European Microwave Association (EuMA). By permission.
  • [Publication 11]: Mikko Kärkkäinen, Mikko Varonen, Pekka Kangaslahti, and Kari Halonen. 2005. Integrated amplifier circuits for 60 GHz broadband telecommunication. Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing, volume 42, number 1, pages 37-46. © 2004 Springer Science+Business Media. By permission.
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