Title page for ETD etd-07242011-153735

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Weststrate, Marnus
URN etd-07242011-153735
Document Title LC-ladder and capacitive shunt-shunt feedback LNA modelling for wideband HBT receivers
Degree PhD(Eng)
Department Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Advisor Name Title
Prof S Sinha Supervisor
  • noise optimization
  • mathematical model
  • impedance matching
  • noise generators
  • capacitive feedback
  • ladder filters
  • low noise amplifier
  • wideband
  • mm-wave
  • SiGe Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT)
  • performance trade-offs
Date 2011-09-06
Availability unrestricted
Although the majority of wireless receiver subsystems have moved to digital signal processing over the last decade, the low noise amplifier (LNA) remains a crucial analogue subsystem in any design being the dominant subsystem in determining the noise figure (NF) and dynamic range of the receiver as a whole.

In this research a novel LNA configuration, namely the LC-ladder and capacitive shunt-shunt feedback topology, was proposed for use in the implementation of very wideband LNAs. This was done after a thorough theoretical investigation of LNA configurations available in the body of knowledge from which it became apparent that for the most part narrowband LNA configurations are applied to wideband applications with suboptimal results, and also that the wideband configurations that exist have certain shortcomings.

A mathematical model was derived to describe the new configuration and consists of equations for the input impedance, input return loss, gain and NF, as well as an approximation of the worst case IIP3. Compact design equations were also derived from this model and a design strategy was given which allows for electronic design automation of a LNA using this configuration. A process for simultaneously optimizing the circuit for minimum NF and maximum gain was deduced from this model and different means of improving the linearity of the LNA were given. This proposed design process was used successfully throughout this research.

The accuracy of the mathematical model has been verified using simulations. Two versions of the LNA were also fabricated and the measured results compared well with these simulations. The good correlation found between the calculated, simulated and measured results prove the accuracy of the model, and some comments on how the accuracy of the model could be improved even further are provided as well. The simulated results of a LNA designed for the 1 GHz to 18 GHz band in the IBM 8HP process show a gain of 21.4 dB and a minimum NF of only 1.7 dB, increasing to 3.3 dB at the upper corner frequency while maintaining an input return loss below -10 dB. After steps were taken to improve the linearity, the IIP3 of the LNA is -14.5 dBm with only a small degradation in NF now 2.15 dB at the minimum. The power consumption of the respective LNAs are 12.75 mW and 23.25 mW and each LNA occupies a chip area of only 0.43 mm2.

Measured results of the LNA fabricated in the IBM 7WL process had a gain of 10 dB compared to an expected simulated gain of 20 dB, however significant path loss was introduced by the IC package and PCB parasitics. The S11 tracked the simulated response very well and remained below -10 dB over the feasible frequency range. Reliable noise figure measurements could not be obtained. The measured P1dB compression point is -22 dBm.

A 60 GHz LNA was also designed using this topology in a SiGe process with ÉT of 200 GHz. A simulated NF of 5.2 dB was achieved for a gain of 14.2 dB and an input return loss below -15 dB using three amplifier stages. The IIP3 of the LNA is -8.4 dBm and the power consumption 25.5 mW. Although these are acceptable results in the mm-wave range it was however found that the wideband nature of this configuration is redundant in the unlicensed 60 GHz band and results are often inconsistent with the design theory due to second order effects.

The wideband results however prove that the LC-ladder and capacitive shunt-shunt feedback topology is a viable means for especially implementing LNAs that require a very wide operating frequency range and also very low NF over that range.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Weststrate, M 2011, LC-ladder and capacitive shunt-shunt feedback LNA modelling for wideband HBT receivers, PhD(Eng) thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07242011-153735/ >


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