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Design, Simulation and Applications of Inductors and Transformers for Si RF ICs

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The modern wireless communication industry has put great demands on circuit designers for smaller, cheaper transceivers in the gigahertz frequency range. One tool which has assisted designers in satisfying these requirements is the use of on-chip inductive elements (inductors and transformers) in silicon (Si) radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs). These elements allow greatly improved levels of performance in Si monolithic low-noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, up-conversion and down-conversion mixers and local oscillators. Inductors can be used to improve the intermodulation distortion performance and noise figure of small-signal amplifiers and mixers. In addition, the gain of amplifier stages can be enhanced and the realization of low-cost on-chip local oscillators with good phase noise characteristics is made feasible.

In order to reap these benefits, it is essential that the IC designer be able to predict and optimize the characteristics of on-chip inductive elements. Accurate knowledge of inductance values, quality factor (Q) and the influence of adjacent elements (on-chip proximity effects) and substrate losses is essential. In this book the analysis, modeling and application of on-chip inductive elements is considered. Using analyses based on Maxwells equations, an accurate and efficient technique is developed to model these elements over a wide frequency range. Energy loss to the conductive substrate is modeled through several mechanisms, including electrically induced displacement and conductive currents and by magnetically induced eddy currents. These techniques have been compiled in a user-friendly software tool ASITIC (Analysis and Simulation of Inductors and Transformers for Integrated Circuits). This tool allows circuit and process engineers to design and optimize the geometry of on-chip inductive devices and the IC process parameters affecting their electrical characteristics.

Wireless RF and microwave ICs depend critically on passive devices, such as inductors, capacitors, and transformers. Passive devices allow the optimization of key RF circuit building blocks by minimizing noise, maximizing gain and frequency of operation, and minimizing power. The integration of passive devices on the Si IC substrate requires a critical understanding of substrate coupling and loss, including electrically induced conductive and displacement current flowing in the substrate as well as magnetically induced eddy currents. Design, Simulation and Applications of Inductors and Transformers for Si RF ICs provides a deep understanding of the physics involved in the operation of these devices at microwave frequencies. Additionally, the book tackles two critical blocks that depend critically on the passive devices, the voltage-controlled oscillator and a distributed amplifier. Design, Simulation and Applications of Inductors and Transformers for Si RF ICs will be of interest to RF and microwave integrated circuit engineers, computer aided designers, device physicists, and electromagnetic researchers, as well as power electronics engineers.

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