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A 17 GHz low-power radio transceiver front-end implemented in a 0.25 mum SiGe:C BiCMOS technology is described. Operating at data rates up to 10 Mbit/s with a reduced transceiver turn-on time of 2 mus, gives an overall energy consumption of 1.75 nJ/bit for the receiver and 1.6 nJ/bit for the transmitter. The measured conversion gain of the receiver chain is 25-30 dB into a 50 Omega load at 10 MHz IF, and noise figure is 12 plusmn0.5 dB across the band from 10 to 200 MHz. The 1-dB compression point at the receiver input is -37 dBm and IIP3 is -25 dBm. The maximum saturated output power from the on-chip transmit amplifier is -1.4 dBm. Power consumption is 17.5 mW in receiver mode, and 16 mW in transmit mode, both operating from a 2.5 V supply. In standby, the transceiver supply current is less than 1 muA.