Publication Details
Xinyan Tang



The fifth-generation (5G) wireless communication started its deployment to meet the increased global demands for high-quality connectivity in 2019, and its later generation,6G, will become present in any aspect of human and machine interactions. The radio frequency spectrum will be gradually expanded to millimeter-wave (mm-wave) ranges to satisfy the enhanced mobile broadband service. This Ph.D. work focuses on the design of mm-wave front-end circuits, which is the part of a wireless communication transmitter and receiver chip closest to the antenna, operating at the carrier frequency. The Ph.D. work describes various designs of power amplifiers and front-end modules(FEM) containing a power amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (LNA), and transmit-receive(T/R) switch. Functional circuits are demonstrated, both for the Ka band (26.5-40 GHz)and the D band (110-170 GHz) using different semiconductor technologies: 28-nm bulk CMOS, 22-nm fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) CMOS, and 130-nm silicon-germanium bipolar-CMOS (SiGe BiCMOS). For a compact footprint, the impedance matching networks in the different designs make use of transformers. For these networks, a design flow has been developed in this work.Further, systematic design approaches are used and verified with design examples, such as a ground/supply path analysis between a single-ended LNA and a T/R switch, an ESD-aware design method of a T/R switch, gain-boosting techniques, a synthesis methodology of a T/R switch based on ABCD matrices, and the development of a reusable unit-cell layout for PA transistor arrays. Two major design highlights of this Ph.D. work are the 28-GHz and the 140-GHzfront-end modules in 22nm FD-SOI CMOS. With these modules, the measured raw data rate with 64-QAM modulation reaches 2.4 Gb/s for the 28-GHz FEM and 24 Gb/s for the140-GHz FEM.