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Balanced Colpitt oscillator MMICs designed for ultra-low phase noise

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3 Author(s)
Zirath, H. ; Dept. of Microelectron., Chalmers Univ. of Technol., Molndal, Sweden ; Kozhuharov, R. ; Ferndahl, M.

Balanced voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) based on a coupled Colpitt topology with a fully integrated tank are presented utilizing SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) and InGaP/GaAs HBT technologies. Minimum phase noise is obtained for all designs by optimization of the tank circuit including the varactor, maximizing the tank amplitude, and designing the VCO for Class C operation. Fundamental and second harmonic VCOs are evaluated. A minimum phase noise of less than -112 dBc at an output power of 5.5 dBm is achieved at 100-kHz carrier offset and 6.4-GHz oscillation frequency for the fundamental InGaP/GaAs HBT VCO. The second harmonic VCO achieves a minimum measured phase noise of -120 dBc at 100 kHz at 13 GHz. To our best knowledge, this is the lowest reported phase noise to date for a varactor-based VCO with a fully integrated tank. The fundamental frequency SiGe HBT oscillator achieves a phase noise of -108 dBc at 100 kHz at 5 GHz. All MMICs are fabricated in commercial foundry MMIC processes.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 10 )