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Current-Reused 2.4-GHz Direct-Modulation Transmitter With On-Chip Automatic Tuning

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4 Author(s)
Hesam Amir-Aslanzadeh ; Department of Design Engineering, Xilinx Inc., San Jose, CA, USA ; Erik John Pankratz ; Chinmaya Mishra ; Edgar Sanchez-Sinencio

This paper presents the design, analysis, and experimental verification of a self-calibrating current-reused 2.4-GHz direct-modulation transmitter for short-range wireless applications. The key contributions are the design/analysis of a stacked power amplifier (PA)/voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) architecture, the nonlinear frequency-dependent analysis of a Gilbert-cell-based root-mean-square detector, and an on-chip LC -tank calibration circuit that needs no analog-to-digital convertor (ADC)/digital signal processor. The stacked architecture reduces the number of required regulators, utilizes supply headroom effectively, and allows for an “ADC-less” calibration loop that can dynamically tune the PA center frequency by sensing the transmitted signal. The very nature of direct-modulation architecture obviates additional high-purity signal generators, reducing complexity and allowing online calibration. The system was implemented in TSMC 0.18 \mu{\rm m} CMOS, occupies 0.7 {\rm mm}^{2}~({\rm TX})+0.1~{\rm mm}^{2} (self-tuning), and was measured in a QFN48 package on an FR4 PCB. Automatically correcting PA/VCO tank misalignment in this case yielded {>}{\rm 4}~{\rm dB} increase in output power. With the automatic tuning active, the transmitter delivers a measured output power {>}{\rm 0}~{\rm dBm} to a 100- \Omega differential load, and the system consumes 22.9 mA from a 1.8-V core-circuit supply.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )