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Analysis and Minimization of Flicker Noise Up-Conversion in Voltage-Biased Oscillators

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5 Author(s)
Pepe, F. ; Politecnico di Milano, Italy ; Bonfanti, A. ; Levantino, S. ; Samori, C.
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Traditional design of voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) can lead to unacceptable degradation of the $1/f^3$ phase-noise component when a broad tuning range is required. In this paper, the flicker noise up-conversion mechanisms in a voltage-biased topology are deeply investigated, providing general design guidelines for its mitigation. An improved VCO architecture is then introduced, where a segmented transconductor tailors the excess gain depending on the operating range to ensure that $1/f$ noise up-conversion remains minimal over the tuning range. The solution covers both fourth-generation and WiMAX 2.5-GHz bands and leads to a 10-dB reduction of the $1/f^3$ phase noise with respect to a traditional design without impairing the $1/f^2$ phase-noise performance.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 6 )