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The dual-modulus prescaler is a critical block in CMOS systems like high-speed frequency synthesizers. However, the design of high-moduli, high-speed, and low-power dual-modulus prescalers remains a challenge. To face the challenge, this paper introduces the idea of using transmission gates and pseudo-PMOS logic to realize the dual-modulus prescaler. The topology of the prescaler proposed is different from prior designs primarily in two ways: 1) it uses transmission gates in the critical path and 2) the D flip-flops (DFFs) used in the synchronous counter comprise pseudo-PMOS inverters and ratioed latches. A pseudo-PMOS logic-based DFF is introduced and used in the proposed prescaler design. Based on the proposed topology, a dual-modulus divide-by-127/128 prescaler is implemented in 0.35-μm CMOS technology. It consumes 4.8 mW from a 3-V supply. The measured phase noise is -143.4 dBc/Hz at 600 kHz. The silicon area required is only 0.06 mm2. There are no flip flops or logic gates in the critical path. This topology is suitable for high-speed and high-moduli prescaler designs. It reduces: 1) design complexity; 2) power consumption; and 3) input loading. Measurement results are provided. An improvement in the figure of merit is shown.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005