2.4-GHz-Band CMOS RF Front-End Building Blocks at a 1.8-V Supply

Hideyuki WAKADA
Tetsuya HEIMA
Hisayasu SATO
Takahiro MIKI
Naoyuki KATO
Keitaro SEKINE

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E85-A    No.2    pp.300-308
Publication Date: 2002/02/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Analog Circuit Techniques and Related Topics)
CMOS,  low voltage,  RF,  S band,  front end,  

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This paper describes 2.4-GHz-band front-end building circuits--a down conversion mixer (DCM), a dual-modulus divide-by-4/5 prescaler, a transmit/receive antenna switch (SW), a power amplifier (PA), and a low noise amplifier (LNA). They are fabricated using a standard bulk 0.18 µm CMOS process with a lower current consumption than bipolar circuits, and can operate at the low supply voltage of 1.8 V. Meshed-shielded pads are adopted for lower receiver circuit noise. Pads shielded by metals become cracked when they are bounded, therefore silicided active areas are used as shields instead of metals to avoid these cracks. The meshed shields achieve lower parasitic pad capacitors without parasitic resistors, and also act as dummy active areas. The proposed DCM has a high IP3 characteristic. The DCM has a cascode FET configuration and LO power is injected into the lower FET. By keeping the drain-source voltage of the upper transistor large, the nonlinearity of the drain-source transconductance is reduced and a low distortion DCM is realized. It achieves a higher input referred IP3 with a higher conversion gain for almost the same current consumption of a conventional single-balanced mixer. The output referred IP3 is higher 5.0 dB than the single-balanced mixer. The proposed dual-modulus prescaler employs a fully-differential technique to achieve stable operation. In order to avoid errors, the fully-differential circuit gives the logic voltage swing margins. In addition, the differential technique also reduces the noise effect from the supply voltage line because of the common-mode signal rejection. The maximum operating frequency is 3.0 GHz, and the one flip-flop power consumption normalized by the maximum operating frequency is 180 µW/GHz.