This paper presents two ultra-low voltage and high performance VCO ICs with two novel transformer-based harmonic tuned tanks. The first proposed harmonic tuned tank effectively shapes the pseudo-square drain-node voltage waveform for close-in phase noise reduction. To compensate the voltage drop caused by the transformer, an improved second tank is proposed. It not only has tuned harmonic impedance but also provides a voltage gain to enlarge the output voltage swing over supply voltage limitation. The VCO with second tank exhibits over 3 dB better phase noise performance in 1/f2 region among all tuning range. The two VCO ICs are designed, fabricated and measured on wafer in 45-nm SOI CMOS technology. With only 0.3 V supply voltage, the proposed two VCO ICs exhibit best phase noise of -123.3 and -127.2 dBc/Hz at 10 MHz offset and related FoMs of -191.7 and -192.2 dBc/Hz, respectively. The frequency tuning ranges of them are from 14.05 to 15.14 GHz and from 14.23 to 15.68 GHz, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas