Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


RF and Millimeter-wave Techniques to Improve Scalability and Efficiency of Digital Beamforming Arrays Public Deposited

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  • Spectrum overcrowding, ever increasing demand for high data rate and increased mobility requirements are three major challenges 5G-technology is trying to address. In this thesis I start with a RF front-end technique that deals with blocker interference arising from spectrum overcrowding both across frequency bands and within the same frequency bands. Chapter 3 presents a single wire IF interface design for phased array receivers which enables simple IF backhaul for high data volume MIMO systems. Finally a outphasing power amplifier(PA) design is presented in chapter 4 along with a driver amplifier with digital amplitude modulation to achieve state of the art power back off efficiency, which reduces battery usage and thus increases mobility. The first part of this thesis demonstrates the use of orthogonal sequences along to N-path filters to achieve reconfigurable select/reject filtering of signals based on their spatial, spectral and code-domain properties. A frequency/code-domain reject and select filtering is proposed and implemented using N-path switching with passive inductors as correlators. Using inductors instead of capacitors in N-path filters is challenging because of large inductance value required for our application demands use of off-chip inductors, which comes with associated parasitics and lower self-resonance frequency. In this design a cascaded inductor approach and differential N-path filtering is used to overcome inductor parasitics and enable operation at 1 GHz. A code-domain notch filter followed by a code-domain select receiver is designed and implemented in 65-nm CMOS technology. Measurements demonstrate 0.5 GHz to 1.0 GHz filter tuning range, with a maximum 26dB rejection for a blocker signal with 8dBm power, while consuming 60mW (at 1GHz operation frequency) and occupying 1.2mm2 of die area. Second part of this thesis demonstrates a single wire IF interface to simplify scaling of millimeter-wave(mm-Wave) phased array systems while preserving the data from each element, this enables spatial multiplexing, virtual arrays for radar, digital beamforming(DBF), etc. However, per-element digitization results in a formidable I/O challenge in large-scale tiled MIMO mm-Wave arrays. This dissertation demonstrates a 28 GHz 4-element MIMO RX with a single-wire interface that multiplexes the baseband signals of all elements and the LO reference through code-domain multiplexing. System considerations are presented and the approach is validated through DBF after de-multiplexing of the baseband signals from the single wire. Each element in the array achieves 16 dB conversion gain and ∼ 7 dB noise figure(NF) while consuming 60 mA from 1.2 V. The IC occupies 5.75 mm² in 65-nm CMOS. Final part of this thesis describes the design and implementation of a digital outphasing PA at 28 GHz to achieve state of the art back of efficiency. Outphasing PA require branch PA units to act as voltage sources(very low output impedance), which is challenging at mm-Wave frequencies. In this PA design an approximate class-F operation is achieved by tuning PA load network for up to 3rd harmonic. A stacked PA architecture is used for individual PA units to achieve high maximum power output. Output-power further improved by utilizing a novel diode connected stack bias circuit to improve out-put swing. PA delivers a maximum output-power of 20 dBm with a peak power added efficiency(PAE) of 27% (PA along with driver stages) and 6 dB back-off PAE of 16.5%.
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