Générateurs de fréquence millimétrique à faible bruit de phase destinés à des applications backhauling sur une technologie BiCMOS

Abstract : This thesis deals with the analysis and design of Low phase Noise Local-Oscillator(LO) sources suitable for backhauling applications on the frequencies 30-38GHz. The LO is intended to be used in a low-IF architecture for low order modulations (2-3 bits/symbol). This work was developed in collaboration with NXP Semiconductorsat CAEN, France, within the project RF2THz of the European program CATRENE.The original contributions in this work include a rigorous study of the 1/f2 phasenoise characteristics of the VCO (bipolar cross-coupled pair Voltage-Controlled-Oscillator) with the oscillating frequency. Key factors in the design of VCOs such as tuning range and the tank load given by the cross-coupled pair are considered in the analysis. The study reveals that as the frequency scales, the VCO passes through two different zones, named the QL-limited and the QC-limited region, that results from the dependence of the resonator quality factor on its inductive part (for low oscillating frequencies) and its capacitive part (for high oscillating frequencies). Moreover, the impact of the tuning range on the 1/f2 phase noise evolution was captured by using a classical circuit based on an AC-coupled varactor and a MiM capacitor. Simple and accurate equations were derived for the circuit parameters in order to achieve a desired central frequency with the required capacitance variation. For this circuit, it is demonstrated (and verified through circuit simulations) that the lowest quality factor scenario can be associated to the time-constant of a lossy capacitor. The latter allows to estimate easily the minimum quality factor of the capacitive part of the VCO LC tank, for a given tuning range, as a function of the oscillating frequency. In a similar way, and based on a small signal analysis, the time-constant of the output capacitance of the bipolar cross-coupled pair was derived. Interesting, this time constant shows a constant behavior over a wide frequency range, thereby allowing to estimate easily its quality factor. This study set the bases for an analytical framework that enables the evaluation of the 1/f2 phase noise performances of local oscillator sources working either on fundamental,super-harmonic or sub-harmonic mode. The superiority in terms of 1/f2 phase noise of local oscillators based on sub-harmonic oscillators is thus demonstrated and simple equations are derived to determine the maximum performance and the conditions on which this can be achieved. Finally, a signal generation system intended for a low-IF point-to-point fixed radio system in the Ka-Band band is thus designed and verified through prototype measurements.The system is composed by a sub-harmonic VCO followed by an injectionlocked frequency tripler (ILFT) and it is designed in a 0.25m BiCMOS SiGe:C technology. The ILFT implements a cascode current-biased common emitter configuration that exploits the second harmonic of the VCO to enhance the efficiency in the generation of the injecting signal responsible for the ILFT locking. At 30.8GHz, the system achieves a phase noise of -112dBc/Hz at 1MHz offset. The total current consumption is 38mA for a supply voltage of 2.5V. A second prototype is designed for a multiband LO generation, providing thus three RF outputs at 18GHz, 34GHz and 68GHz. With a measured tuning range of 10% for each RF output, the measured phase noise at 1MHz is -113dBc/Hz, -107dBc/Hz and -100dBc/Hz respectively.
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Dwight José Cabrera Salas. Générateurs de fréquence millimétrique à faible bruit de phase destinés à des applications backhauling sur une technologie BiCMOS. Electronics. Université de Bordeaux, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015BORD0432⟩. ⟨tel-01435667⟩

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