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Frequency Tuning Range Extension in LC-VCOs Using Negative-Capacitance Circuits

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9 Author(s)
Qiyang Wu ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA ; Tony K. Quach ; Aji Mattamana ; Salma Elabd
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We present an experimentally validated capacitance cancellation structure to increase the tuning range (TR) of LC voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) with minimal phase noise or power impact. The cancellation is based on an ultrawideband differential active negative-capacitance (NC) circuit. An NC scheme suitable for bottom-biased VCOs is analyzed and combined with a CMOS VCO to cancel the fixed capacitance in the LC tank. The NC structure is further modified to be tunable, enabling additional expansion of the VCO TR. By manipulating the quality factor (Q) of the NC tuning varactor pair, a prototype VCO achieves a maximum TR of 27% in a 130-nm technology, while dissipating 13 mA from a 0.9-V supply. The TR is the highest reported at Q-band, covering from 34.5 GHz to 45.4 GHz. Compared to the reference VCO without an NC circuit, the TR is increased by 38%. The measured worst case phase noise is -95 dBc/Hz at 1-MHz offset, and the FOMT is -184.9 dBc/Hz.

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IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 4 )