Digital CMOS Design for Ultra Wideband Communication Systems: from Circuit-Level Low Noise Amplifier Implementation to a System-Level Architecture
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CMOS technology is particularly attractive for commercialization of ultra wideband (UWB) radios due to its low power and low cost. In addition to CMOS implementation, UWB radios would also significantly benefit from a radio architecture that enables digital communications. In addition to the normal challenges of CMOS RFIC design, there are two major technical challenges for the implementation of CMOS digital UWB radios. The first is building RF and analog circuitry covering wide bandwidth over several GHz. The second is sampling and digitizing high frequency signals in the UWB frequency range of 3 GHz to 10 GHz, which is not feasible for existing CMOS analog-to-digital converters. In this dissertation, we investigate the two technical challenges at the circuit level and the system level. We propose a systematic approach at the circuit level for optimal transistor sizing and biasing conditions that result in optimal noise and power matching over a wide bandwidth. We also propose a general scheme for wideband matching. To verify our methods, we design two single-stage low noise amplifiers (LNAs) in TSMC 0.18Âµm CMOS technology. Measurement results from fabricated chips indicate that the proposed LNAs could achieve as high as 16 dB power gain and as low as 2.2 dB noise figure with only 6.4 mA current dissipation under a supply voltage of 1.2 V. At the system level, we propose a unique frequency domain receiver architecture. The receiver samples frequency components of a received signal rather than the traditional approach of sampling a received signal at discrete instances in time. The frequency domain sampling leads to a simple RF front-end architecture that directly samples an RF signal without the need to downconvert it into a baseband signal. Further, our approach significantly reduces the sampling rate to the pulse repetition rate. We investigate a simple, low-power implementation of the frequency domain sampler with 1-bit ADCs. Simulation results show that the proposed frequency-domain UWB receiver significantly outperforms a conventional analog correlator. A digital UWB receiver can be implemented efficiently in CMOS with the proposed LNA as an RF front-end, followed by the frequency domain sampler.
- Doctoral Dissertations