SiGe BiCMOS RF front-ends for adaptive wideband receivers
Saha, Prabir K.
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The pursuit of dense monolithic integration and higher operating speed continues to push the integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technologies to their limits. The increasing process variation, associated with aggressive technology scaling, is having a negative impact on circuit yield in current IC technologies, and the problem is likely to become worse in the future. Circuit solutions that are more tolerant of the process variations are needed to fully utilize the benefits of technology scaling. The primary goal of this research is to develop high-frequency circuits that can deliver consistent performance even under the threat of increasing process variation. These circuits can be used to build ``self-healing" systems, which can detect process imperfections and compensate accordingly to optimize performance. In addition to improving yield, such adaptive circuits and systems can provide more robust and efficient solutions for a wide range of applications under varying operational and environmental conditions.Silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology is an ideal platform for highly integrated systems requiring both high-performance analog and radio-frequency (RF) circuits as well as large-scale digital functionality. This research is focused on designing circuit components for a high-frequency wideband self-healing receiver in SiGe BiCMOS technology. An adaptive image-reject mixer, low insertion-loss switches, a wideband low-noise amplifier (LNA), and a SiGe complementary LC oscillator were designed. Healing algorithms were developed, and automated self-healing of multiple parameters of the mixer was demonstrated in measurement. A monte-carlo simulation based methodology was developed to verify the effectiveness of the healing procedure. In summary, this research developed circuits, algorithms, simulation tools, and methods that are useful for building "self-healing" systems.