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This paper presents a novel radio-frequency (RF) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active inductor for the design of RF integrated circuits (RFICs). The electromagnetic characteristics of the RF CMOS gyrator-based active inductor were investigated. The RF CMOS gyrator-based active inductor utilized a loss compensation circuit to produce equivalent negative resistance and compensate for the loss of transistors and bias circuitry. The proposed active inductor realized both high-inductance and high-quality factor. The quality factor was greater than 10 from 2.5 to 3.5 GHz. The maximum quality factor was 76.2. The active inductor was applied to the design of a microwave notch filter. The active notch filter with the RF CMOS gyrator-based active inductor was able to reject microwave image signals for modern wireless communication systems.