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Supply less sensitive ring voltage-controlled oscillator for microwave L-band frequencies

Parul Trivedi (Department of Electronics Engineering, Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Jaunpur, India)
B.B. Tiwari (Department of Electronics Engineering, Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Jaunpur, India)

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 15 September 2022




The primary aim of this paper is to present a novel design approach for a ring voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) suitable for L-band applications, whose oscillation frequency is less sensitive to power supply variations. In a few decades, with the advancement of modern wireless communication equipment, there has been an increasing demand for low-power and robust communication systems for longer battery life. A sudden drop in power significantly affects the performance of the VCO. Supply insensitive circuit design is the backbone of uninterrupted VCO performance. Because of their important roles in a variety of applications, VCOs and phase locked loops (PLLs) have been the subject of significant research for decades. For a few decades, the VCO has been one of the major components used to provide a local frequency signal to the PLL.


First, this paper chose to present recent developments on implemented techniques of ring VCO design for various applications. A complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-based supply compensation technique is presented, which aims to reduce the change in oscillation frequency with the supply. The proposed circuit is designed and simulated on Cadence Virtuoso in 0.18 µm CMOS process under 1.8 V power supply. Active differential configuration with a cross-coupled NMOS structure is designed, which eliminates losses and negates supply noise. The proposed VCO is designed for excellent performance in many areas, including the L-band microwave frequency range, supply sensitivity, occupied area, power consumption and phase noise.


This work provides the complete design aspect of a novel ring VCO design for the L-band frequency range, low phase noise, low occupied area and low power applications. The maximum value of the supply sensitivity for the proposed ring VCO is 1.31, which is achieved by changing the VDD by ±0.5%. A tuning frequency range of 1.47–1.81 GHz is achieved, which falls within the L-band frequency range. This frequency range is achieved by varying the control voltage from 0.0 to 0.8 V, which shows that the proposed ring VCO is also suitable for low voltage regions. The total power consumed by the proposed ring VCO is 14.70 mW, a remarkably low value using this large transistor count. The achievable value of phase noise is −88.76 dBc/Hz @ 1 MHz offset frequency, which is a relatively small value. The performance of the proposed ring VCO is also evaluated by the figure of merit, achieving −163.13 dBc/Hz, which assures the specificity of the proposed design. The process and temperature variation simulations also validate the proposed design. The proposed oscillator occupied an extremely small area of only 0.00019 mm2 compared to contemporary designs.


The proposed CMOS-based supply compensation method is a unique design with the size and other parameters of the components used. All the data and results obtained show its originality in comparison with other designs. The obtained results are preserved to the fullest extent.



The authors would like to thank TEQIP-III, UNSIET, Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Jaunpur, India for providing Cadence IC-617.


Trivedi, P. and Tiwari, B.B. (2022), "Supply less sensitive ring voltage-controlled oscillator for microwave L-band frequencies", Circuit World, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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