A Common-Gate Low Noise RF Amplifier for Ultra High Frequencies
Introduction Typically the first stage of an integrated receiver is a low-noise amplifier (LNA); hence, it is one of the most critical RF building blocks. An LNA is required to provide enough gain to suppress the noise contributions of subsequent blocks such as mixers. Noise figure is the most important performance parameter of an LNA since the overall noise figure of a receiver depends highly on it. However, tradeoffs among noise figure, gain, linearity, power consumption and stability complicate the design of LNA circuits. There are two basic candidate topologies for LNA designs; namely, the common-source and commongate configurations. Noise figure of the common-source LNA increases with frequency while that of the common-gate LNA is insensitive to frequency. At low frequencies, the common-source LNA outperform its conventional common-gate counterpart in terms of noise figure. However, at higher operating frequencies, the conventional common-gate LNA has a lower noise figure than the common-source LNA. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a common-gate low noise amplifier (CGLNA) for ultra high frequencies. Both analysis and simulation in SpectreRF show that it has a lower noise figure and lower power consumption than the conventional common-gate amplifier. More important, it preserves the advantages of a CGLNA, such as insensitivity to parasitic input capacitance, higher reverse isolation and better stability, which makes it very suitable for high frequency application. With this invention, an RF designer has more freedom in the LNA design space. Business opportunity The ever-increasing interest in wireless communication systems is emphasizing higher levels of integration, more complex functionalities and lower cost in integrated circuit (IC)
implementations. Intellectual Property Position This technology is available for licensing.
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