Design Techniques for Frequency Reconfigurability in Multi-Standard RF Transceivers
Compared to current single-standard radio solutions, multi-standard radio transceivers enable higher integration, backward compatibility and save power, area and cost. The primary bottleneck in their realization is the development of high-performance frequency-reconfigurable RF circuits. To that end, this research introduces several CMOS-integrated, transformer-based reconfigurable circuit techniques whose effectiveness is validated through measurements of designed transceiver front-end low-noise (LNA) and power amplifier (PA) prototypes. In the first part, the use of high figure-of-merit phase-change (PC) based RF switches in the reconfiguration of CMOS LNAs in the receiver front-end is proposed. The first reported demonstration of an integrated, PC-switch based, dual-band (3/5 GHz) reconfigurable CMOS LNA with transformer source degeneration and designed in a 0.13 μm process is presented. In the second part, a frequency-reconfigurable CMOS transformer combiner is introduced that can be reconfigured to have similar efficiencies at widely separated frequency bands. A 65-nm CMOS triple-band (2.5/3/3.5 GHz) PA employing the reconfigurable combiner was designed. In the final part of this work, the use of transformer coupled-resonators in mm-wave LNA designs for 28 GHz bands was investigated. To cover contiguous and/or widely-separated narrowband channels of the emerging 5G standards, a 65-nm CMOS 24.9-32.7 GHz wideband multi-mode LNA using one-port transformer coupled-resonators was designed. Finally, a 25.1-27.6 GHz tunable-narrowband digitally-calibrated merged LNA-vector modulator design employing transformer coupled-resonators is presented that proposes a compact, differential quadrature generation scheme for phased-array architectures.