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A 900 MHz front-end design with copper passive components

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4 Author(s)
Jonghae Kim ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN, USA ; J. Koeppe ; Ming-ta Hsieh ; R. Harjani

In this paper, we evaluate the impact of copper (Cu) passive components on RF circuit performance. A fully-differential RF Front-end is used as a test vehicle to compare the Cu 0.18 μ copper process with a traditional 0.25 μ aluminium (Al) process. The RF Front-end contains a balun and a low noise amplifier (LNA) that are designed with spiral inductors and capacitors. CMOS spiral inductor Q values range from 3 to 5 for the aluminium process and are improved with 7 to 9 for the Cu process, while the fringe capacitor Q values for the Cu process are more than twice the Q values for the Al process. At the system level, the balun performance is characterized by its insertion loss and the LNA performance is defined by its gain and noise figure. The balun insertion losses are 0.6 dB to 0.8 dB lower for the Cu process as compared to a traditional Al process. The LNA gain is 3 dB higher for the Cu process and has a sharper bandpass characteristic. The output signals from the LNA are downconverted by a Gibert cell mixer and amplified by an IF stage. The entire system has been simulated and results from measurements are included to validate our simulation result

Published in:

Circuits and Systems, 2000. Proceedings of the 43rd IEEE Midwest Symposium on  (Volume:2 )

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