Low-Noise Mixing Circuits in CMOS Microwave Integrated Circuits
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In this thesis, three low-noise active mixing circuits are presented in CMOS technology. Mixers can be found at the front-end of almost every communication systems. However, despite many advantages the active mixers have, one drawback is their poor noise performance. One mixer that has been widely used in integrated circuit is the Gilbert cell. This thesis demonstrated that by merging the low-noise amplifier (LNA) with the Gilbert cell, a low-noise active mixer can be realized. This kind of mixer relaxes the front-end design, allows higher circuit integration, and reduces power consumption. The first circuit is a narrowband low-noise mixer that operates at 5.4 GHz in 0.18 um CMOS. An inductive degenerated LNA is used as the transconductor. Together with a current bleeding circuit, a gain of 13.1 dB and a low 7.8 dB single-sideband noise figure are achieved. The circuit was fabricated and measured. Simulation and measurement results are compared and discussed. The second circuit is a broadband low-noise mixer that operates between 1 and 5.5 GHz in 0.13 um CMOS. The noise-cancelling technique is used to design the transconductors. This technique does not require the use of inductors while able to achieve a sub 3 dB noise figure and input matching over a large bandwidth. To further extend the mixer bandwidth, the series inductive peaking was used. Measured and simulated results showed great agreement. It has a high gain of 17.5 dB, a bandwidth of 4.5 GHz, and a low average double-sideband noise figure of 3.9 dB. This mixer has the best broadband noise performance ever reported in CMOS. Finally, a double-balanced low-noise self-oscillating mixer (SOM) in 0.13 um CMOS is presented. This is a current-reuse, highly integrated circuit that combines an LNA, mixer, and oscillator seamlessly into a single component. The oscillator generates the required LO while serving as the mixer load simultaneously. Measured and simulated results showed excellent agreement. A low double-sideband noise figure of 4.4 dB and a gain of 11.6 dB were measured. This type of SOM and loading structure are the first ever reported.