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High performance 24 GHz CMOS phased array receivers with on-chip coupling characterization

Abstract

The dissertation presents a 4-channel phased array receiver front-end in 0.13 \[Mu\]m CMOS operating in the 24 GHz band. The chip has low power consumption and a small area and is a good candidate for a high-performance wireless communication systems. The dissertation includes the design of 24 GHz CMOS LNAs, demonstration of a 6-bit phased array receiver channel, study of on-chip coupling effects, implementation of a differential phased array receiver with on-chip baluns, and 24 GHz packaging and board design. In the 24 GHz LNA design, a common-source (CS) LNA, a common-gate (CG) LNA and a cascode LNA are discussed and compared. A nearly simultaneous noise and power match for a CG LNA at 24 GHz is explained. A CS- cascode-cascode 3-stage LNA and a CG-cascode-cascode are implemented. The 6-bit phased array receiver channel introduces an active phase shifter with a novel active vector generator and results in a 6-bit phase response at 23-24.5 GHz and a 5-bit resolution at 20-28 GHz. The on- chip coupling study shows that the dominant coupling components result in system-level gain and phase errors, and the coupling component increases as G² while the signal component increases as G. It is recommended that the additional gain be placed after the RF combiner node or a differential topology be used for LNAs if a high gain is need for the phased-array system. The differential phased-array receiver chip shows a measured gain of 12-15 dB at 24-27 GHz, a measured NF of 7.8 dB at 25 GHz, a measured S₁₁ and S₂₂ < -10 dB at 24-27.4 GHz, measured rms gain and phase errors of < 0.5 dB and < 5.6⁰ at 23.5-26.5 GHz, respectively, measured input P1dB and IIP3 of -22 dBm and -12 dBm, respectively, measured rms gain and phase coupling errors < 0.3 dB and < 2⁰ at 21-30 GHz, respectively, and measured channel-to-channel rms gain and phase mismatches of < 0.5 dB and < 4⁰ at 20-30 GHz, respectively, and has a total power of 230 mW and a dimension of 1.8 x 2.2 mm². To our knowledge, this represents state-of-the-art results not yet achieved using CMOS at this frequency range.

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