Skip to Main Content
The impact of CMOS technology scaling on the various radio frequency (RF) circuit components such as active, passive and digital circuits is presented. Firstly, the impact of technology scaling on the noise and linearity of the low-noise amplifier (LNA) is thoroughly analyzed. Then two new circuits, i.e., CMOS complementary parallel push-pull (CCPP) circuit and vertical-NPN (V-NPN) circuit for direct-conversion receiver (DCR), are introduced. In CCPP, the high RF performance of pMOS comparable to nMOS provides single ended differential RF signal processing capability without the use of a bulky balun. The use of parasitic V-NPN bipolar transistor, available in triple well CMOS technology, has shown to provide more than an order of magnitude improvement in 1/f noise and dc offset related problems, which have been the bottleneck for CMOS single chip integration. Then CMOS technology scaling for various passive device performances such as the inductor, varactor, MIM capacitor, and switched capacitor, is discussed. Both the forward scaling of the active devices and the inverse scaling of interconnection layer, i.e., more interconnection layers with effectively thicker total dielectric and metal layers, provide very favorable scenario for all passive devices. Finally, the impact of CMOS scaling on the various digital circuits is introduced, taking the digital modem blocks, the various digital calibration circuits, the switching RF power amplifier, and eventually the software defined radio, as examples.