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A Built-In Voltage Measurement Technique for the Calibration of RF Mixers

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3 Author(s)
Liaperdos, J. ; Dept. of Inf. Technol. & Telecommun., Technol. Educ. Inst. of Kalamata, Sparta, Greece ; Arapoyanni, A. ; Tsiatouhas, Y.

A built-in technique to measure internal DC voltage levels used for the calibration of radio frequency (RF) mixers is presented in this paper. According to a common alternate test approach, RF mixer calibration is based on the prediction of the circuit's performance characteristics that requires the acquisition of a set of DC voltage observables obtained from specific nodes of the mixer operating in homodyne mode. These observables, however, often correspond to internal nodes where direct access is not always possible. Furthermore, accurate calibration might require a relatively large set of voltage observables whose direct access would lead to a waste of resources and to increased cost. The proposed built-in technique provides digital readings for the DC levels at all nodes of interest through a single interface by exploiting the use of a voltage acquisition circuit implemented by a simple analog to digital converter, which consists of a ring-type voltage controlled oscillator and a counter. A reading correction method to minimize the uncertainty introduced by process variations and device mismatches in the acquisition circuit itself is also described. The efficiency of the proposed technique has been validated by its application to the calibration procedure of a typical differential RF mixer designed in a 0.18-μm CMOS technology. Simulation results have been obtained and assessed, both for the proposed built-in voltage measurement technique and for the direct voltage measurement approach, in favor of comparison.

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:62 ,  Issue: 4 )