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This paper introduces an ultra-high frequency inter-modulated regenerative receiver (IRR) that operates beyond the maximum oscillation frequency (fmax) of active devices for terahertz imaging applications. It is accomplished by inter-modulating the fundamental oscillator in a conventional super regenerative receiver (SRR) with a second oscillator to boost the reception frequency. When implemented in 65 nm CMOS technology (fmax = 280 GHz), a maximum reception frequency of 349 GHz is achieved. While in 40 nm CMOS technology (fmax = 350 GHz), the maximum reception frequency increases to 495 GHz. Multiple received bands are also generated at the alternate inter-modulation frequencies, and enable the possibility of false color THz imaging. The prototype IRR consumes 18.2 mW/pixel and occupies 0.021 mm2 of silicon area when implemented in 65 nm CMOS technology; and occupies 0.11 mm2 while consuming 5.6 mW when implemented in 40 nm CMOS technology.
Terahertz Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:3 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March 2013