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In this paper, a 1.2-V RF front-end realized for the personal communications services (PCS) direct conversion receiver is presented. The RF front-end comprises a low-noise amplifier (LNA), quadrature mixers, and active RC low-pass filters with gain control. Quadrature local oscillator (LO) signals are generated on chip by a double-frequency voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and frequency divider. A current-mode interface between the downconversion mixer output and analog baseband input together with a dynamic matching technique simultaneously improves the mixer linearity, allows the reduction of flicker noise due to the mixer switches, and minimizes the noise contribution of the analog baseband. The dynamic matching technique is employed to suppress the flicker noise of the common-mode feedback (CMFB) circuit utilized at the mixer output, which otherwise would dominate the low-frequency noise of the mixer. Various low-voltage circuit techniques are employed to enhance both the mixer second- and third-order linearity, and to lower the flicker noise. The RF front-end is fabricated in a 0.13-μm CMOS process utilizing only standard process options. The RF front-end achieves a voltage gain of 50 dB, noise figure of 3.9 dB when integrated from 100 Hz to 135 kHz, IIP3 of -9 dBm, and at least IIP2 of +30dBm without calibration. The 4-GHz VCO meets the PCS 1900 phase noise specifications and has a phase noise of -132dBc/Hz at 3-MHz offset.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2006