Location:Calit2 3355
Date and Time: March 8th, 2012, 10:00AM

Professor Payam Heydari (Chair)
Professor Filippo Capolino
Professor A. Lee Swindlehurst

Title: Silicon-Based Millimeter-Wave Circuits for W-band Applications

Historically, monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) have been designed using III-V semiconductor technologies, such as GaAs and InP. In recent years, the number of publications reporting silicon-based millimeter-wave (mm-wave) transmitter, receivers, and transceivers has grown steadily. For mm-wave applications including gigabit/s point-to-point links (57-64 GHz), automative radar (77-81 GHz) and imaging (94 GHz) to reach mainstream market, the cost, size and power consumption of silicon-based solution has to be significantly below what is being achieved today using compound seminconductor technology. This dissertation focuses the effort of designing and implementing silicon-based solutions through circuit- and system-level innovation for applications in the W-band frequency band (750110GHz), in particular, 94GHz passive imaging band.

A W-band front-end receiver in 65nm CMOS based entirely on slow-wave CPW (SW-CPW) with frequency tripler as the LO is designed and measured. The receiver achieves a total gain of 35-dB, -3dB-BW of 12 GHz, a NF of 9-dB, a P1-dB of -40dBM, a low power consumption of 108mW under 1.2/0.8V. This front-end receiver chipset in conjuction with an analog back-end can be used to form a radiometer.

Leveraging the work done in 65nm CMOS, the first integrated 2×2 focal-plane array (FPA) for passive imaging is implemented in a 0.18um SiGE BiCMOS process (ft/fmax=200/180GHz). The FPA incorporates four Dicke-type receivers. Each receiver employs a direct-conversion architecture consisting of an on-chip slot dipole antenna, an SPDT switch, a lower noise amplifier, a single-balanced mixer, an injection-locked frequency tripler (ILFT), a zero-IF variable gain amplifier, a power detector, an active bandpass filter and a synchronous demodulator. The LO signal is generated by a shared Ka-band PLL and distributed symmetrically to four ILFTx. This work demonstrates the highest level of integration of any silicon-based systems in the 94GHz imaging band.

Finally, the main design bottleneck of any wireless transceiver system, the frequency synthesizer/phase-locked loop is investigated. Two monolithically integrated W-band frequency synthesizer are presented. Implemented in a 0.18um SiGe BiCMOS, both architectures incorporate the same 30.3-33.8GHz PLL core. One sythesizer uses an injection-locked frequency tripler (ILFT) with locking range of 92.8-98.1GHz and the other employ a harmonic-based frequency tripler (HBFT) with 3-dB bandwidth of 10.5GHz from 90.0-101.4GHz, respectively. The frequency sythesizer is suitable for integration in mm-wave phased array and multi-pixel systems such as W-band radar/imaging and 120GHz Gb/s communication.