Skip to Main Content
A new low-power RF receiver architecture that facilitates the use of on-chip high-Q nano-electro-mechanical (NEM) resonators for channel selection at RF is presented. Integration of high-Q RF filters in future low-power receivers is inevitable. The idea of using high-Q filters is investigated by two approaches. One is determining the requirements of high-Q filters in a narrow-band RF receiver. The other is studying the effect of these filters on the receiver in terms of reducing the power consumption of the blocks, such as LNA, mixer and VCO. The nonlinearity and power consumption of the low-IF receiver with and without RF NEMS filters is analyzed. The target application is 900 MHz GSM, and the high-Q NEMS filters are used as the front-end channel selectivity filters with Q∼3000 at 900 MHz for selecting channels with bandwidth of 200 kHz. This attenuates interferers and blockers entering the desired signal channel in the receiver, resulting in lowering the required dynamic range, linearity, IIP2 and IIP3, and therefore the power consumption of the receiver. The paper aims to create a link between research on high-Q RF filters and research on low-power RF circuit design. The discussion provides a measure for the benefits of employing high-Q NEMS filters at RF.