The design of a low-voltage 40-GHz complementary voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) with 15% frequency tuning range fabricated in 0.13-μm partially depleted silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS technology is reported. Technological advantages of SOI over bulk CMOS are demonstrated, and the accumulation MOS (AMOS) varactor limitations on frequency tuning range are addressed. At 1.5-V supply, the VCO core and each output buffer consumes 11.25 mW and 3 mW of power, respectively. The measured phase noise at 40-GHz is - 109.73 dBc/Hz at 4-MHz offset from the carrier, and the output power is -8 dBm. VCO performance using high resistivity substrate (∼300-Ω·cm) has the same frequency tuning range but 2 dB better phase noise compared with using low resistivity substrate (10 Ω·cm). The VCO occupies a chip area of only 100 μm by 100 μm (excluding pads).

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Keywords Accumulation MOS (AMOS) varactor, CMOS, Frequency tuning, Low voltage, Silicon on insulator (SOI), Substrate resistivity, Voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO)
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Journal IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Fong, N. (Neric), Kim, J. (Jonghae), Plouchart, J.-O. (Jean-Olivier), Zamdmer, N. (Noah), Liu, D. (Duixian), Wagner, L. (Lawrence), … Tarr, G. (Garry). (2004). A low-voltage 40-GHz complementary VCO with 15% frequency tuning range in SOI CMOS technology. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, 39(5), 841–846. doi:10.1109/JSSC.2004.826341