Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

RF Receiver Architectures for Deeply-Scaled Submicron CMOS Technology

View Current Project Information

Renaldi Winoto and Borivoje Nikolic

Semiconductor Research Corporation

Current advancements in wireless receiver technology are primarily driven by (1) the need for the integration of radio, A/D, and digital baseband processors on a single CMOS die, and (2) the demand for low-power multi-standard capable receivers. The goal of this research is to investigate novel receiver architectures that are amenable to modern CMOS processes. In doing so, we need to adapt designs to take greater advantage of the advantages offered by state-of-the-art CMOS devices, while avoiding their shortcomings.

In this project, our focus will be in processing an RF signal using a discrete time ΣΔ modulator. The RF signal is first downcoverted using a current-commutating mixer with a single capacitor as the output load. This capacitor forms the first stage of a two stage passive switched capacitor filter that makes up the ΣΔ modulator loop filter. The switched-capacitor filter is run at radio frequencies which gives rise to a large oversampling ratio. Availability of very good switches is one of the advantages of scaling, as for a given on-resistance; the parasitic capacitance of MOS switch becomes increasingly smaller.

This receiver architecture also provides a very good platform to implement an interference cancellation scheme. First, the receiver actually captures the entire signal up to the sampling frequency, along with the desired RF signal. This means that large, potentially blocking signals are also available at the digital output, although with compromised signal-to-noise ratio. Furthermore, by default the ΣΔ modulator has a feedback path which can be placed very close to the antenna. A digital signal processor can then be used to synthesize a cancelling signal for large interferers based on the receiver digital output. This scheme would significantly reduce the dynamic range requirement needed for the receiver.

R. Staszewski et al., "All-Digital TX Frequency Synthesizer and Discrete-Time Receiver for Bluetooth Radio in 130-nm CMOS," IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, Vol. 39, No. 12, December 2004.