Inventions of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits

Inventions of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits

Arjuna Marzuki (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-886-4.ch010
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This chapter deals with the concept of first time right IC. A development of subsystems for wireless application is used as test case. The subsystems are Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), Medium Power Amplifier (MPA) and Variable Signal Generator (VSG). Several issues such as suitable multiband design flow and high speed switch must be solved. A new design methodology of integrated circuits for multiband application is presented. The design methodology is modified from a typical Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) flow. Core based design, parasitic aware approach and power constrained optimization are introduced into the new design flow. The same core circuit topology is used as main block to design 2.4 GHz and 3.5 GHz LNA and MPA. A power constrained optimization is applied to a test case amplifier i.e. broadband amplifier to get the optimized RF performance. The optimization is simulation-based technique. A 0.15 µm 85 GHz PHEMT is used in designing the LNA, MPA and broadband amplifier. This chapter also introduces the inventions of Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), Mixer, Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA), Power Amplifiers (PA) and Transmit-Receive Switch (T/R). These circuits are crucial components for RF and Microwave front-end integrated circuits. The elements of inventions of circuits are clearly explained. The inventions reflect the requirement or the need of solving current problem using available technology.
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Due to increase in demand of multiband solution, it is therefore necessary to understand design methodology of multiband transceiver. A typical Monolithic Microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) flow (Bahl, 2005) is normally used in designing MMIC and Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC). It has a comprehensive flow starting from defining specification until two-dimensional analysis of layout. Nevertheless, the flow requires many iterations in designing stage, due to uncertainty in layout and parasitic. The design flow does not specifically cater for multiband design. This will be discussed in this chapter. Apart from the design flow, core circuit, LNA, MPA and switch design will be also covered. This is important for ‘First time right IC’ concept.

In designing Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) for commercial needs or research endeavor, the knowledge of the current state of the art of current work is important. Nevertheless, one must be cautious not to infringe the design or inventions. This chapter has five main circuits or inventions to be discussed; the VCO, Mixer, LNA, PA and T/R Switch. These five circuits are arranged under different topics for clarity. Multiband and reconfigurable concept is current state of the arts and also future trend for integrated circuit solution to support advanced technology such as 4-G technology.

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