Publication Details
Zhiwei Zong



The use of spectrum in the millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequency range is considered as a key enabler to continue the insatiable demand for increased wireless data capacity. This frequency range is adopted in the 5G wireless communication standard. To obtain a high integration degree for the implementation of 5G mm-wave transceivers, advanced CMOS is the preferred technology. The higher operating frequency, compared to 4G, poses more design challenges on the key building blocks of a transceiver. This PhD thesis focuses on the design of two key building blocks in a 5G mm-wave transceiver, namely a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and a power amplifier (PA). All building blocks designed in this PhD work are operating in the 20-30GHz frequency region. All building blocks have been designed in a 22nm fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) CMOS technology. First, a modified transformer-feedback VCO (TF-VCO) with a source-bridging capacitor (Cs) is introduced. Thanks to the use of Cs, the phase noise (PN) in the1/f2and1/f3regions are both improved compared to earlier published TF-VCOs. By adding Cs,the voltage waveform symmetry is improved over the tank of the VCO, which results in a reduced PN. Meanwhile, with Cs the effective quality factor of the transformer is increased, which also reduces the PN of the VCO. These theoretical investigations are proven with measurement results. With the second design of an LC-VCO, the suppression of flicker noise upconversion is tackled. A 22-29GHz voltage-biased LC-VCO is designed and implemented to suppress this flicker noise upconversion by using a flicker noise filtering technique. A self-coupled inductor and a common-centroid capacitor bank layout are proposed in this design to guarantee a good flicker noise suppression over the frequency tuning range.