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Shielded passive devices for silicon-based monolithic microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits

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2 Author(s)
Cheung, T.S.D. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Toronto, Ont., Canada ; Long, J.R.

This paper introduces floating shields for on-chip transmission lines, inductors, and transformers implemented in production silicon CMOS or BiCMOS technologies. The shield minimizes losses without requiring an explicit on-chip ground connection. Experimental measurements demonstrate Q-factor ranging from 25 to 35 between 15 and 40 GHz for shielded coplanar waveguide fabricated on 10 Ω·cm silicon. This is more than a factor of 2 improvement over conventional on-chip transmission lines (e.g., microstrip, CPW). A floating-shielded, differentially driven 7.4-nH inductor demonstrates a peak Q of 32, which is 35% higher than an unshielded example. Similar results are realizable for on-chip transformers. Floating-shielded bond-pads with 15% less parasitic capacitance and over 60% higher shunt equivalent resistance compared to conventional shielded bondpads are also described. Implementation of floating shields is compatible with current and projected design constraints for production deep-submicron silicon technologies without process modifications. Application examples of floating-shielded passives implemented in a 0.18-μm SiGe-BiCMOS are presented, including a 21-26-GHz power amplifier with 23-dBm output at 20% PAE (at 22 GHz), and a 17-GHz WLAN image-reject receiver MMIC which dissipates less than 65 mW from a 2-V supply.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 5 )
RFIC Virtual Journal, IEEE