Skip to main content

Variable gain wideband LNA in 130 nm SiGe HBT technology with stepped impedance micro-strip open circuited stubs for minimum transmission phase variation for WiGig phased array receivers


This paper presents a 130nm SiGe HBT process variable gain low noise amplifier (VGLNA) with low phase variation that can be used in phased array systems. The transmission phase variations in the proposed VGLNA are compensated by optimizing the passive micro-strip components in the current steering control circuit. Phase variation of less than \(3^{\circ }\) with a Gain Control Range (GCR) of 24.1 dB was observed, which is 6 times better than the conventional cascade topology. A 3 dB bandwidth of 16.42 GHz is achieved with a peak gain of 20.4 dB. A Noise Figure (NF) of less than 5.3 dB and IIP3 of − 1 dBm is observed in the frequency range of 57 to 6 4 GHz. Layout of the proposed circuit occupies a chip area of 205 × 200 µm2 making it compatible for phased array wireless network systems.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.

Code availability

Not applicable.


  1. Hauptmann, S., Ellinger, F., Korndoerfer, F., Scheytt, C.: V-band variable gain amplifier applying efficient design methodology with scalable transmission lines. IEL Circuit Devices Syst. 4(1), 24–29 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Hsieh, C.Y., Kao, J.C., Kuo, J.J., Lin, K.Y.: A 57-64 GHz lowphase- variation variable-gain amplifier. In: IEEE MTT-S Int. Dig., Jun. 2012

  3. Byeon, C.W., Song, I.S., Cho, S.J., Kim, H.Y., Lee, C., Park, C.S.: A 60 GHz variable gain amplifier with a low phase imbalance in 0.18 \(\mu m\) SiGe BiCMOS technology. In: Proc. IEEE Compound Semicond. Integr. Circuit Symp., Oct. 2012

  4. Goel, L.K., Kottayil, S.K., Kirthiga, S., Jayakumar, M.: Performance studies and review of millimeter wave MIMO Beamforming at 60 GHz. Procedia Technol. 21, 658–666 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kirthiga, S., Jayakumar, M.: Performance of dualbeam MIMO for millimeter wave indoor communication systems. Wirel. Pers. Commun. 77(1), 289–307 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. WirelessHD specification.: revision 1.0, Jan. 3, 2008. Available:,


  8. Standard for information technology-telecommunications and information exchange between systems-local and metropolitan area s-specific requirements. Part 15.3: wireless medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for high rate wireless personal area s (WPANs). amendment 2: millimeter-wave-based alternative physical layer extension, IEEE standard 802.15.3c-2009, 2009

  9. Draft standard for information technology-telecommunications and information exchange between systems-local and metropolitan area s-specific requirements, part 11: wireless LAN medium access control 5 (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications. Amendment 6: enhancements for very high throughput in the 60 GHz band, IEEE standard P802.11ad\(^{TM}\)/D0.1, 2010

  10. Suh, B., Kim, D., Min, B.: A 7-GHz CMOS bidirectional variable gain amplifier with low gain and phase imbalances. IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. I Regul. Pap. 65(9), 2669–2678 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Vangerow, C.V., Goettel, B., Awny, A., Kissinger, D., Zwick, T.: Broadband variable gain amplifier with low group delay variation. In: IEEE 18th topical meeting on silicon monolithic integrated circuits in RF systems (SiRF), pp. 23–26. Anaheim, CA, USA (2018)

  12. Mayer, U., Ellinger, F., Eickhoff, R.: Analysis and reduction of phase variations of variable gain amplifiers verified by CMOS implementation at C-band. IET Circuits Device Syst. 4(5), 433–439 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Muller, D., et al.: A D-band phase compensated variable gain amplifier. In: Workshop on integrated nonlinear microwave and millimetre-wave circuits, Dublin, Ireland pp. 1–3 (2012)

  14. Lee, S., Park, J., Hong, S.: A Ka-band phase-compensated variable-gain CMOS low-noise amplifier. IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett. 29(2), 131–133 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kuo, J.-L., et al.: 60 GHz four-element phased-array transmit/receive system-in-package using phase compensation techniques in 65 nm flipchip CMOS process. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 60(3), 743–756 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kim, Y., Kwon, Y.: A 60 GHz cascode variable-gain low-noise amplifier with phase compensation in a 0.13 \(\mu {\rm m}\) CMOS technology. IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compod. Lett. 22(7), 372–374 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Kuo, C.N., Chou, T.-Y.: A 28-GHz variable gain amplifier with low phase variation in 90-nm CMOS, In: 2020 IEEE international symposium on radio-frequency integration technology (RFIT), Hiroshima, Japan, pp. 157-159, 2020

  18. Pournamy S., Kumar N.: system level performance analysis of designed LNA and down converter for IEEE 802.11ad Receiver, In: Ubiquitous communications and computing. Lecture Notes of the institute for computer sciences, social informatics and telecommunications engineering, Springer, vol. 276., 2019

  19. Pournamy, S., Navin Kumar.: RF budgeting and planning for WiGig and its co-existence with quasi mmWave radio. In: PhD colloquium on ethically driven innovation and technology for society (PhD EDITS), p. 2019. Bangalore, India (2019)

  20. Kuo C.-C, Tsai Z.-M, Tsai J.-H, Wang H.: A 71-76 GHz CMOS variable gain amplifier using current steering technique. In: 2008 IEEE radio frequency integrated circuits symposium, Atlanta, GA, USA, pp. 609-612, 2008

  21. Kao, K., Lu, D., Kao, J., Lin, K.: A 60 GHz variable-gain low-noise amplifier with low phase variation. In: IEEE international symposium on radio-frequency integration technology (RFIT), pp. 1-3, 2016

  22. Zhang, Y., et al.: 32-mW ultra-low-power 173–207-GHz amplifier With 130-nm SiGe HBTs operating in saturation. IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 55(6), 1471–1481 (2020)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Pournamy, S., Kumar, N.: Design of 60GHz broadband LNA for 5G cellular using 65 nm CMOS technology. In: 7th international conference on communication systems and technologies (CSNT), pp. 320-324,2017

  24. Sukumaran, P., Kumar, N., Ponnambalam, M.: A linear high frequency gm boosting wideband LNA in 130 nm SiGe HBT with minimum NF of 4.3 dB for WiGig application. J. Circuits Syst. Comput. 31(1), 2250001 (2022)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Yaghoobi, M., Yavari, M., Ghafoorifard, H.: A 17-to-24 GHz low-power variable-gain low-noise amplifier in 65-nm CMOS for phased-array receivers. Circuits Syst. Signal Process 38, 5448–5466 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Ellinger, F., Jorges, U., Mayer, U., Eickhoff, R.: Analysis and compensation of phase variations versus gain in amplifiers verified by SiGe HBT cascode RFIC. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 57(8), 1885–1894 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Fan, X., Zhang, H., SÁnchez-Sinencio, E.: A noise reduction and linearity improvement technique for a differential cascode LNA. IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 43(3), 588–599 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Chang, C., Onabajo, M.: Analysis and demonstration of an IIP3 improvement technique for low-power RF low-noise amplifiers. IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. I Regul. Pap. 65(3), 859–869 (2018)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  29. Ladvanszky, Janos: Stabilization of linear multistage amplifiers. Circuits Syst. 9(11), 169–195 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Wang, K., Jones, M., Nelson, S.: A new cost effective, 4-gamma method for evaluating multi stage amplifier stability. In: IEEE MTT - S Digest, pp. 829-832, 1992

  31. Shin, G., Kim, K., Lee, K., Jeong, H..-H., Song, H..-J.: An E-band 21-dB variable-gain amplifier with 0.5-V supply in 40-nm CMOS. Electronics 10, 804 (2021)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Siao, D., Kao, J., Wang, H.: A 60 GHz low phase variation variable gain amplifier in 65 nm CMOS. IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett. 24(7), 457–459 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Li, W.-T., et al.: 60 GHz 5-bit phase shifter with integrated VGA phase error compensation. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 61(3), 1224–1235 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Huang, D., Zhang, L., Zhang, L., Wang, Y.: A 60-GHz, 15-dB gain range digitally controlled phase-inverting VGA With 0-dBm OP1 dB and 3\(^\circ\) phase variation in 65-nm CMOS. IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett. 28(9), 819–821 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Wang, B., Gao, H., van Dommele, A.R., Matters-Kammerer, M.K., Baltus, P.G.M.: 60-GHz low-noise VGA and interpolation-based gain cell in a 40-nm CMOS technology. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 67(2), 518–532 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Natarajan, A., Nicolson, S., Tsai, M.-D., Floyd B.: A 60 GHz variable-gain LNA in 65 nm CMOS. In: Proc. IEEE Asian Solid-State Circuits Conf., pp. 117-120, Nov. 2008

  37. Elkholy, M., Shakib, S., Dunworth, J., Aparin, V., Entesari, K.: A wideband variable gain LNA with high OIP3 for 5G using 40-nm bulk CMOS. IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett. 28(1), 64–66 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Yu C.-H, Lo P.-H, Lyu J.-Y, Kuo H.-C and Chuang H.-R.: Integrated 60-Hz MOS variable-gain low-noise amplifier and full 360\(^\circ\)phase shifter for phased-array RF receiving system. In: IEEE 14th topical meeting on silicon monolithic integrated circuits in Rf systems, pp. 59-61, 2014

  39. Hsieh, Y.-K., Kuo, J.-L., Wang, H., Lu, L.-H.: A 60 GHz broadband low-noise amplifer with variable-gain control in 65 nm CMOS. IEEE Microw. Wireless Compon. Lett. 21(11), 610–612 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Lee, J.G., Jang, T.H., Park, G.H., Lee, H.S., Byeon, C.W., Park, C.S.: A 60-GHz four-element beam-tapering phased-array transmitter with a phase-compensated VGA in 65-nm CMOS. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 67(7), 2998–3009 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Not applicable.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Both the authors contributed equally.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Pournamy.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest.

Consent to participate

Ready to participate.

Consent for publication

Ready to give consent for publication.

Ethical approval

Declaring that the work is original.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pournamy, S., Ponnambalam, M. Variable gain wideband LNA in 130 nm SiGe HBT technology with stepped impedance micro-strip open circuited stubs for minimum transmission phase variation for WiGig phased array receivers. J Comput Electron 21, 1138–1149 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: