2013  •   Engineering and Technology

Linearization of subthreshold RF front-end system

Lead Presenter: Chun-Hsiang Chang

The current demand for low-power cost effective radio frequency (RF) front-end circuit designs is high because of the important need to extend the battery life of portable devices with integrated RF receivers, such as in mobile wireless consumer electronic devices and personal health monitors. If more power reduction can be achieved, then battery-powered implanted medical devices will be able to operate for periods of 10 years or more. Transistors operated in subthreshold (or weak inversion) offer opportunities to minimize power consumption for low-power RF frond-end designs. Unfortunately, a significant drawback of subthreshold biasing is limited linearity, such that a third-order intermodulation intercept point (IIP3) below -10 dBm has been the norm for low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and mixers. The goal of the presented project is to design a subthreshold RF front-end system that has the same RF performances as state-of-the art designs, but consumes 90% less power compared to standard designs. The LNA of this system will be presented in the poster.