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Design of Wide Tuning-Range CMOS VCOs Using Switched Coupled-Inductors

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3 Author(s)
Demirkan, M. ; Agilent Technol., Santa Clara ; Bruss, S.P. ; Spencer, R.R.

Two designs of voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) with mutually coupled and switched inductors are presented in this paper to demonstrate that the tuning range of an LC VCO can be improved with only a small increase in phase noise and die area in a standard digital CMOS process. Particular attention is given to the layout of the inductors to maintain Q across the tuning range. In addition, different capacitive coarse-tuning methods are compared based on simulated and measured data obtained from test structures. Implemented in a 90 nm digital CMOS process, a VCO with two extra coupled inductors achieves a 61.9% tuning range with an 11.75 GHz center frequency while dissipating 7.7 mW from a 1.2 V supply. This VCO has a measured phase noise of -106 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset from the center frequency resulting in a higher figure-of-merit than other recently published VCOs with similar operating frequencies. In addition, the area overhead is only 30% compared to a conventional LC VCO with a single inductor.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 5 )
RFIC Virtual Journal, IEEE