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Low Power LC-Quadrature VCO with Superior Phase Noise Performance in 0.13 µm RF-CMOS Process for Modern WLAN Application


The presented work intends to encounter the challenge of optimizing frequency tracking in the C-band WLAN spectrum, with a tuning range and phase noise (PN) performance. A Quadrature Voltage Controlled Oscillator (QVCO) design in 130 nm CMOS technology has been presented to cover the most sought WLAN/WiFi spectrum of modern wireless systems, employing the current reuse technique and an on-chip inductor implementation. To provide better compensation of LC losses at reduced power dissipation, a cross-coupled structure combining NMOS and PMOS has been used. We have run an extensive simulation using the industry-standard ADS (Keysight technology) platform. The simulation study attributed to the superior phase noise performance of − 160 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz (near fmax) at a power dissipation of 6.52 mW from 1.2 V supply. With the moderate voltage tuning range, the entire desired frequency span of 5.400–5.495 GHz was obtained with a fairly high resolution of 2.375 MHz/1 mV, which allows serving a larger crowd for this spectrum. A fairly moderate VCO gain along with the obtained phase noise and power dissipation provides a well-established Figure of Merit (FOM) of − 187 dB. Finally, a comparison study in terms of power dissipation, phase noise, tuning range, voltage tuning, and Kvco is performed to demonstrate that the provided work is considerably more significant than traditional efforts.

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IUK involved in conceptualization, methodology, software, writing. DB participated in data curation, project administration, validation. NKM: involved in conceptualization, methodology, software, visualization, writing—review and editing, validation, supervision, original draft.

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Correspondence to Neeraj Kumar Misra.

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Khan, I.U., Balodi, D. & Misra, N.K. Low Power LC-Quadrature VCO with Superior Phase Noise Performance in 0.13 µm RF-CMOS Process for Modern WLAN Application. Circuits Syst Signal Process 41, 2522–2540 (2022).

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