A FIR Filter Embedded Millimeter-wave Front-end for High Frequency Selectivity


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Millimeter wave (mm-Wave) has become increasingly popular frequency band for next-generation high-speed wireless communications. In mm-Wave, the wireless channel path loss is severe, demanding a high output power in transmitters (Tx) to meet a required SNR in receivers (Rx). Due to the intractable speed-power tradeoff ingrained in silicon processes, however, achieving a high power at mm-Wave, particularly over W-band (> 90 GHz), is challenging in silicon power amplifiers. To relieve the output power burden, phased-arrays are widely adopted in mm-Wave wireless communication systems -- namely, by leveraging a parallel power combining in the space domain, inherent in the phased arrays, the required output power per array element can be reduced significantly with increasing array size. In large arrays ( > 100's -- 1000's number of arrays), the required output power per element could be small, typically around several 10's mW or less in silicon-based phased arrays. In such small-to-medium scale output power level, the static power dissipations by transistor knee voltage and passive components could be a significant portion of the output power, decreasing power efficiency of power amplifiers drastically. This poses a significant concern on the power efficiency of the large-scale silicon-based phased arrays in mm-Wave. Another critical problem in mm-Wave wireless systems design is the increase of passive reactive components loss caused by worsening skin depth effect and increasing dielectric loss through silicon substrate. This essentially degrades the reactive components quality factor (Q) and limits frequency selectivity of the silicon-based mm-Wave systems. This thesis tackles these two major technical challenges to provide high frequency selectivity with maintaining high power efficiency for future mm-Wave wireless systems over W-band and beyond. First, various high-efficiency techniques such as impedance tuning with a reactive component at a cascoding stage in conventional stacked power amplifiers or load-pull based inter-stage matching technique, rather than conventional conjugate matching, have been applied to W-band CMOS and SiGe BiCMOS amplifiers to improve power efficiency with 5-10 dBm output power level, suitable for a large phased array applications, as detailed in Chapter 2 and 3. Second, a 4-tap finite impulse response (FIR) filter based receiver architecture is presented in Chapter 4. The FIR filtered receiver leverages a sinc-pulse type frequency nulls built-in in the transmission-line based FIR filter's frequency response to increase frequency selectivity. The proposed FIR filtered receiver achieves > 40-dB image rejection by placing an image signal at the null frequency at D-band, one of the largest image rejection performance at the highest frequency band reported so far.



Power Amplifier, W-band, Stacked, PAE, mm-Wave FIR Filter, Image Rejection, NF