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This paper presents a fully integrated CMOS analog front end for a passive 900-MHz radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponder. The power supply in this front end is generated from the received RF electromagnetic energy by using an RF-dc voltage rectifier. In order to improve the compatibility with standard CMOS technology, Schottky diodes in conventional RF-dc rectifiers are replaced by diode-connected MOS transistors with zero threshold. Meanwhile, theoretical analyses for the proposed rectifier are provided and verified by both simulation and measurement results. The design considerations of the pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) demodulator and the backscatter modulator in the front end are also discussed for low-power applications. The proposed front end is implemented in a 0.35-mum 2P4M CMOS technology. The whole chip occupies a die area of 490 times 780 mum2 and consumes only 2.1 muW in reading mode under a self-generated 1.5-V supply voltage. The measurement results show that the proposed rectifier can properly operate with a -14.7-dBm input RF power at a power conversion efficiency of 13.0%. In the proposed RFID applications, this sensitivity corresponds to 10.88-m communication distance at 4-W equivalent isotropically radiated power from a reader base station.