The purpose of this work in designing a wideband ring voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) based on programmable current topology. It occupies a very tiny area yet achieving a good phase noise performance, which is suitable to be implemented in cost-effective and wideband frequency synthesizers.
The tuning range and gain are improved by dividing the VCO tuning curve into multiple curves controlled by programmable current sources without introducing additional parasitic capacitance.
Fabricated in 130-nm standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology and occupying an area of 0.079 mm2, the VCO is tunable from 2.05 to 4.19 GHz, with a tuning percentage of 68.5 per cent. The VCO measures a phase noise performance of −96.7 dBc/Hz at an offset of 1 MHz from a 4.19 GHz carrier while consuming an average current of 6.5 mA, achieving figure of merit (FoM) and FoMT of −158.9 and −175.6 dBc/Hz, respectively.
The proposed design uses programmable current topology without introducing parasitic capacitance, hence achieving wideband operation. It also occupies a tiny area and achieves a good phase noise performance.
This research is supported by the Foundation Grant PV001-2014 from Motorola Solutions.
Awais, M., Ramiah, H., Lim, C. and Chuah, J. (2018), "A 0.079 mm2 2.1-to-4.2 GHz ring-VCO employing programmable current topology", Microelectronics International, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 85-91. https://doi.org/10.1108/MI-02-2017-0003Download as .RIS
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