On-die synthesized inductors: Boon or bane?
Since the introduction of full transceivers on-silicon, inductor design has presented a problem. Inductors are necessary in the design of voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs) for frequency synthesizers, as well as in reconstruction filters following transmitter digital-to-analog converters (DACs). They also are widely used in matching networks. However, passive inductors are costly in terms of die area, and can attain only a modest quality (Q) in performance.