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Low-cost BiCMOS variable gain LNA at Ku-band with ultra-low power consumption

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2 Author(s)
F. Ellinger ; Switzerland & with the IBM/ETH Center for Adv. Silicon Electron., Eidgenossische Tech. Hochschule, Ruschlikon, Switzerland ; H. Jackel

A low-noise amplifier (LNA) at Ku-band with variable gain for adaptive antenna combining is presented. The compact MMIC is optimized for low-power-consuming wireless local area network applications and is fabricated using commercial 0.25-μm bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology. At 16 GHz, a supply voltage of 1.5 V and a current consumption of only 1.5 mA, maximum gain of 14.5 dB, noise figure of 3.8 dB, and third-order intercept point at the output of 1 dBm are measured. At a supply voltage of only 1 V and a supply current of 0.9 mA, a gain of 11 dB was achieved, yielding a gain per supply power figure-of-merit of 12.2 dB/mW, which, to the knowledge of the authors, is the highest reported to date for Ku-band LNAs, independent of the technology used. The characteristics of different bias methods for amplitude control of the cascode circuit are elaborately discussed. A bias-control method is proposed to significantly decrease the transmission phase variations versus gain.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 2 )