Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

UC Berkeley

A Baseband, Impulse Ultra-Wideband Transceiver Front-end for Low Power Applications

Ian David O'Donnell

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2006-47
May 8, 2006

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2006/EECS-2006-47.pdf

Interest in indoor wireless communications has been increasing. In addition to high throughput WLAN systems such as 802.11a/b/g/n, attention is also being focused on lower rate, short distance systems such as Bluetooth and Zigbee. These low rate radios are being proposed for a variety of applications including automation/security, smart toys, remote sensing/control, asset tracking, and as a replacement for computer peripheral wires. While not demanding aggressive throughput, these radios do require low cost, power efficient operation and optionally the ability to perform ranging. Unfortunately, currently reported radios are up to an order of magnitude away from these power and cost targets or do not support ranging. However, a recent ruling from the FCC has opened up nearly 8GHz of unlicensed spectrum (from dc to 960MHz and from 3.1GHz to 10.6GHz) for ultra-wideband (UWB) deployment. One attractive method of UWB signaling that seems suited to a low power, highly integrated implementation communicates with short pulses, on the order of a nanosecond, that spread energy over at least 500MHz of bandwidth. Termed "impulse-UWB," the baseband nature of this signaling promises low cost and low power consumption through design simplicity, pulsed (or "duty-cycled") operation, and a "mostly-digital" implementation. The benefits of this approach are balanced by the risk of jamming from in-band interference, of stricter sampling and gain constraints, and of increased digital complexity. This dissertation presents the system exploration, specification, design, and demonstration of a low power, highly integrated, flexible, baseband, impulse ultra-wideband transceiver front-end. Comprising a 1-bit, 1.92Gsample/s ADC, 50 Ohm input matched gain stage with 0dB to 42dB of variable gain, programmable control logic, a sub-1PPM trimmable 60MHz third-harmonic oscillator, and pulse transmitter, this front-end was implemented in a standard digital 0.13um CMOS process in 2.52sqmm of active area. Aggressively designed at the circuit level for low power, the front-end gain and sampling are also duty-cycled between pulses to further reduce power consumption, yielding 4mW (RX) and 2mW (TX) at 30Mpulse/s, and 0.6mW (RX) and 0.4mW (TX) at 1Mpulse/s. Communication rates on the order of 1Mbps are supported over short distances and ranging is possible through time-of-flight measurements.

Advisor: Robert W. Brodersen


BibTeX citation:

@phdthesis{O'Donnell:EECS-2006-47,
    Author = {O'Donnell, Ian David},
    Title = {A Baseband, Impulse Ultra-Wideband Transceiver Front-end for Low Power Applications},
    School = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2006},
    Month = {May},
    URL = {http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2006/EECS-2006-47.html},
    Number = {UCB/EECS-2006-47},
    Abstract = {Interest in indoor wireless communications has been increasing. In
addition to high throughput WLAN systems such as 802.11a/b/g/n,
attention is also being focused on lower rate, short distance
systems such as Bluetooth and Zigbee. These low rate
radios are being proposed for a variety of applications including
automation/security, smart toys, remote sensing/control, asset
tracking, and as a replacement for computer peripheral wires. While
not demanding aggressive throughput, these radios do require low
cost, power efficient operation and optionally the ability to perform
ranging. Unfortunately, currently reported radios are up
to an order of magnitude away from these power and cost targets or
do not support ranging. However, a recent ruling from the FCC has
opened up nearly 8GHz of unlicensed spectrum (from dc to 960MHz and
from 3.1GHz to 10.6GHz) for ultra-wideband (UWB) deployment. 
One attractive method of UWB signaling that seems suited to a low
power, highly integrated implementation communicates with short
pulses, on the order of a nanosecond, that spread energy over at
least 500MHz of bandwidth. Termed "impulse-UWB," the baseband nature
of this signaling promises low cost and low power consumption through
design simplicity, pulsed (or "duty-cycled") operation, and a
"mostly-digital" implementation.  The benefits of this approach are
balanced by the risk of jamming from in-band interference, of
stricter sampling and gain constraints, and of increased digital complexity.
This dissertation presents the system exploration, specification, design,
and demonstration of a low power, highly integrated, flexible,
baseband, impulse ultra-wideband transceiver front-end.  Comprising a
1-bit, 1.92Gsample/s ADC, 50 Ohm input matched gain stage with 
0dB to 42dB
of variable gain, programmable control logic, a sub-1PPM trimmable
60MHz third-harmonic oscillator, and pulse transmitter, this
front-end was implemented in a standard digital 0.13um CMOS process
in 2.52sqmm of active area. Aggressively designed at the circuit
level for low power, the front-end gain and sampling are also
duty-cycled between pulses to further reduce power consumption,
yielding 4mW (RX) and 2mW (TX) at 30Mpulse/s, and 0.6mW (RX) 
and 0.4mW (TX) at 1Mpulse/s. Communication rates on the order of 1Mbps
are supported over short distances and ranging is possible through
time-of-flight measurements.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Thesis
%A O'Donnell, Ian David
%T A Baseband, Impulse Ultra-Wideband Transceiver Front-end for Low Power Applications
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2006
%8 May 8
%@ UCB/EECS-2006-47
%U http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2006/EECS-2006-47.html
%F O'Donnell:EECS-2006-47