Low-power, high-efficiency, and high-linearity CMOS millimeter-wave circuits and transceivers for wireless communications

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Juntunen, Eric A.
Papapolymerou, John
Dawn, Debasis
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This dissertation presents the design and implementation of circuits and transceivers in CMOS technology to enable many new millimeter-wave applications. A simple approach is presented for accurately modeling the millimeter-wave characteristics of transistors that are not fully captured by contemporary parasitic extraction techniques. Next, the integration of a low-power 60-GHz CMOS on-off keying (OOK) receiver in 90-nm CMOS for use in multi-gigabit per second wireless communications is demonstrated. The use of non-coherent OOK demodulation by a novel demodulator enabled a data throughput of 3.5 Gbps and resulted in the lowest power budget (31pJ/bit) for integrated 60-GHz CMOS OOK receivers at the time of publication. Also presented is the design of a high-power, high-efficiency 45-GHz VCO in 45-nm SOI CMOS. The design is a class-E power amplifier placed in a positive feedback configuration. This circuit achieves the highest reported output power (8.2 dBm) and efficiency (15.64%) to date for monolithic silicon-based millimeter-wave VCOs. Results are provided for the standalone VCO as well as after packaging in a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) substrate. In addition, a high-power high-efficiency (5.2 dBm/6.1%) injection locked oscillator is presented. Finally, the design of a 2-channel 45-GHz vector modulator in 45-nm SOI CMOS for LINC transmitters is presented. A zero-power passive IQ generation network and a low-power Gilbert cell modulator are used to enable continuous 360° vector generation. The IC is packaged with a Wilkinson power combiner on LCP and driven by external DACs to demonstrate the first ever 16-QAM generated by outphasing modulation in CMOS in the Q-band.
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