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Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Communication Circuits in Silicon-Germanium BiCMOS Technologies

  • Author(s): Wagner, Eric Christopher
  • Advisor(s): Rebeiz, Gabriel M
  • et al.

The continued public demand for faster wireless data transfer, and the related expanding volume of mobile data traffic have led cellular network designers to envision new fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks which will leverage the large instantaneous bandwidths available within the microwave and millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequency spectrums to achieve data-rates in the order of gigabits per second. The research presented in this dissertation will explore the design of two radio blocks which become especially challenging when moved to 5G bands: the power amplifier (PA) and frequency synthesizer. Using 0.12 μm SiGe BiCMOS technology, examples of both blocks were designed and demonstrate measured power and noise performance suitable for 5G systems. Practical challenges related to the stability and detuning of mm-wave amplifiers after packaging are also explored. Mitigation strategies are presented and the proper assembly of the PA circuits onto a low-cost printed circuit-board (PCB) such that detuning and oscillations are avoided is demonstrated.

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