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This paper systematically investigates the hot-carrier- and soft-breakdown-induced performance degradation in a CMOS voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) used in phase-locked-loop frequency synthesizers. After deriving the closed-form equations to predict phase noise and VCO gain, we relate VCO RF performance such as phase noise, tuning range, and gain of VCO subject to electrical stress. The circuit degradations predicted by analytical model equations are verified by SpectraRF simulation using parameters extracted from the experimental data of 0.16 μm CMOS technology. BERT simulation results give VCO performance degradations versus operation time.