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Analysis and Design of a Core-Size-Scalable Low Phase Noise LC-VCO for Multi-Standard Cellular Transceivers
T. Seong, J. Kim, J. Choi
Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on , vol.62, no.3, pp.781,790, March 2015


A core-size-scalable -voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) for multi-standard cellular transceivers was fabricated in a 65-nm CMOS process. Theoretical analysis showed that when core current is small a VCO with a larger core-size can achieve lower phase noise. However, when core current is large, a VCO with a smaller core-size can lower phase noise. Based on the analysis, the effective core-size of the VCO was designed to be scalable according to the core current, by switching the secondary core-transistors on or off. Thus, the proposed VCO becomes adaptive to multi-standard cellular transceivers. By turning on the switch, the VCO can operate in the low power (LP) mode for standards that require moderate phase noise in a tight power budget. On the other hand, by turning off the switch, the VCO can operate in the low noise (LN) mode for standards that demand stringent phase noise in a relaxed power budget. When the core current is set to 4 mA, the VCO in the LP mode achieved the phase noise of 127.9 dBc/Hz at the 3 MHz offset from 3.3-GHz signals. When the core current was set to 15 mA, phase noise of the VCO in the LN mode was minimized to 137.5 dBc/Hz at the same offset. The figure of merit (FOM) was 184.8 and 186.5 dB, respectively.


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