Title page for ETD etd-03122003-153048

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bosley, Ryan Travis
Author's Email Address bosley@vt.edu
URN etd-03122003-153048
Title A VHF/UHF Voltage Controlled Oscillator in 0.5um BiCMOS
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sweeney, Dennis G. Committee Chair
Bostian, Charles W. Committee Member
Davis, William A. Committee Member
  • RFIC
  • Oscillator
  • Integrated Circuit
  • VCO
  • BiCMOS
Date of Defense 2003-01-31
Availability unrestricted
The dramatic increase in market demand for wireless products has inspired a trend for new designs. These designs are smaller, less expensive, and consume less power. A natural result of this trend has been the push for components that are more highly integrated and take up less real estate on the printed circuit board (PCB). Major efforts are underway to reduce the number of integrated circuits (ICs) in newer designs by incorporating several functions into a single chip. Availability of newer technologies such as silicon bipolar with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) has helped facilitate this move toward more complex circuit topologies onto one die. BiCMOS achieves efficient chip area utilization by combining bipolar transistors, suited for higher frequency analog circuits with CMOS transistors that are useful for digital functions and lower frequency analog circuits. A voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) is just one radio frequency (RF) circuit block that can benefit from a more complex semiconductor process like BiCMOS.

This thesis presents the design and evaluation of an integrated VCO in the IBM 5S BiCMOS process. IBM 5S is a 0.5 um, single poly, five-metal process with surface channel PFETs and NFETs. The process also features self-aligned extrinsic base NPN bipolar devices exhibiting ft of up to 24 GHz.

The objective of this work is to obtain a VCO design that provides a high degree of functionality while maximizing performance over environmental conditions. It is shown that an external feedback and resonator network as well as a bandgap voltage referenced bias circuit help to achieve these goals. An additional objective for this work is to highlight several pragmatic issues associated with designing an integrated VCO capable of high volume production.

The Clapp variant of the Colpitts topology is selected for this application for reasons of robust operation, frequency stability, and ease of implementing in integrated form. Design is performed at 560 MHz using the negative resistance concept. Simulation results from Pspice and the Agilent ADS are presented. Implementation related issues such as bondwire inductances and layout details are covered. The VCO characterization is shown over several environmental conditions. The final nominal design is capable of: tuning over 150 MHz (22%) and delivering –4.2 dBm into a 50 Ohm load while consuming only 9mA from a 3.0V supply. The phase noise at these conditions is

-92.5 dBc/Hz at a frequency offset of 10 kHz from the carrier. Finally, the conclusion of this work lists some suggestions for potential future research.

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