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The design of distributed amplifiers in a CMOS process is investigated. In particular, the impact of parasitic elements from the transistors and from interstage inductors is studied. A methodology for determining an optimum design, including the number of stages, without needing a complete inductor model at the outset, is presented. This proposed methodology reduces the time and complexity of a distributed amplifier design while at the same time allowing the designer to gain more insight into the circuit's behavior.