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Despite the incessant progress observed in fixed and wireless terrestrial communication networks, satellite systems remain an appealing solution for broadcasting, point-to-point, and multicasting telecommunications, because of undemanding customer equipment and wide coverage capability. In this scenario, digital video broadcasting via satellite (DVB-S) is recognized as one of the main market-attractive telecommunication fields. Up to now, expensive discrete GaAs HEMT or FET devices have been used to build up circuitry for satellite applications at Ku-band. This article presents the first 12-GHz monolithic receiver for DVB-S applications, implemented in a low-cost silicon bipolar technology. The receiver is based on a superheterodyne architecture, employing a fully integrated LO. To comply with the severe LO phase noise requirement of -101 dBc/Hz at a 100 kHz offset from the carrier, an innovative VCO topology was used implementing a three-metal-layer integrated transformer. The performance parameters of the integrated receiver fulfill DVB-S standard specifications.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004