VCO Design

VCO Design
Z. Dilli, Mar 2012
VCO Design
Adapted from Ryan J.
Kier, Low Power
PLL Building
Blocks, Ph.D.
Dissertation, U. of
Utah, 2010.
System Design
• VCO  Source follower (external bias) 
Differential Amplifier (external bias)  Inverter
• Simulations show a center frequency of around 1
GHz, instead of 433 MHz as designed in the
referenced dissertation
– No varactor parasitics considered; bias voltage unknown
• Around 4.3% tunability with certain assumptions
about inductor parasitics
• Varactor trade-off: Too small reduces tunability
range; too large prevents oscillation
VCO-only Outputs
Cvaractor varying from 160 fF (f=1.0737 GHz) to 450 fF (f=1.0385 GHz)
Tuning range wider at lower bias currents (affects MOSFET capacitance)
VCO-only Outputs
Ibias changing from <1 mA to >3 mA (by changing Vbias from 1 V to 3 V)
Source-follower and Self-biasing Differential Amplifier
Two source
followers for the
differential outputs
of the VCO,
designed not to
load the VCO
output with excess
Self-biasing DA
increases output
swing for the
inverter chain
operating more
output taken out of
SF and SBDA operation
Cvaractor=160 fF, f=1.0737 GHz
Inverter Chain
Designed to drive a 1.5 pF load
This is difficult with a full swing with this CMOS technology (0.6 um
minimum width) at > 100s of MHz frequencies
Inverter Chain Output to 0.3 pF Load
Inverter Chain Output to 1.5 pF Load
VCO Layout
Full Chip Layout