0.3 V 15-GHz Band VCO ICs with Novel Transformer-Based Harmonic Tuned Tanks in 45-nm SOI CMOS

Xiao XU  Tsuyoshi SUGIURA  Toshihiko YOSHIMASU  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E103-C   No.10   pp.417-425
Publication Date: 2020/10/01
Publicized: 2020/04/10
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.2020MMP0001
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Technologies)
Category: Microwaves, Millimeter-Waves
Keyword: 
LC-VCO,  low voltage,  low power,  impulse sensitivity function (ISF),  transformer-based harmonic tuned tank,  

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Summary: 
This paper presents two ultra-low voltage and high performance VCO ICs with two novel transformer-based harmonic tuned tanks. The first proposed harmonic tuned tank effectively shapes the pseudo-square drain-node voltage waveform for close-in phase noise reduction. To compensate the voltage drop caused by the transformer, an improved second tank is proposed. It not only has tuned harmonic impedance but also provides a voltage gain to enlarge the output voltage swing over supply voltage limitation. The VCO with second tank exhibits over 3 dB better phase noise performance in 1/f2 region among all tuning range. The two VCO ICs are designed, fabricated and measured on wafer in 45-nm SOI CMOS technology. With only 0.3 V supply voltage, the proposed two VCO ICs exhibit best phase noise of -123.3 and -127.2 dBc/Hz at 10 MHz offset and related FoMs of -191.7 and -192.2 dBc/Hz, respectively. The frequency tuning ranges of them are from 14.05 to 15.14 GHz and from 14.23 to 15.68 GHz, respectively.