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A Passive Mixer-First Receiver With Digitally Controlled and Widely Tunable RF Interface

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2 Author(s)
Andrews, C. ; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA ; Molnar, A.C.

A software-defined radio (SDR) receiver with baseband programmable RF bandpass filter (BPF) and complex impedance match is presented. The passive mixer-first architecture used here allows the impedance characteristics of the receiver's baseband circuits to be translated to the RF port of the receiver. Tuning the resistance at the baseband port allows for a real impedance match to the antenna. The addition of "complex feedback" between I and Q paths allows for matching to the imaginary component of the antenna impedance. By implementing both real and imaginary components with resistors in feedback around low noise baseband amplifiers, noise figure is also kept low. Tunable sampling capacitors on the baseband side of the passive mixer translate to tunable-Q filters on the RF port which allow for very good out-of-band linearity. Furthermore, the concept of in-band and out-of-band must be redefined as the impedance match and BPF center frequency move with the LO frequency, such that matching and filtering track the receive frequency. Additionally, 8-phase mixing is shown to provide significant benefits such as impedance matching range, rejection of blockers at LO harmonics, and lower noise figure (NF). Measurements from the receiver implemented in 65 nm CMOS show 70 dB of gain, NF as low as 3 dB, and 25 dBm out-of-band IIP3. Furthermore, tunable impedance matching shows that S11 <;- 30 dB can be achieved at any receive frequency from 0.1-1.3 GHz.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 12 )