A Tunable Low-Power Oscillator Based on High-Q Lithium Niobate MEMS Resonators and 65-nm CMOS

Ali Kourani, Songbin Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper presents a comprehensive guide to co-design piezoelectric RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) resonators and CMOS for enabling voltage-controlled MEMS oscillators (VCMOs) that harness the best benefits out of both platforms. The analysis, focusing on understanding different tradeoffs among the tuning range, power consumption, gain, and phase noise, is generic to any kind of piezoelectric resonators and specific for Colpitts VCMOs. As a result of this paper, the first VCMO based on the heterogeneous integration of a high-Q lithium niobate (LiNbO₃) micromechanical resonator and CMOS has been demonstrated. A LiNbO₃ resonator array with a series resonance at 171.1 MHz, a Q of 410, and an electromechanically coupling factor of 12.7% is adopted, while the TSMC 65-nm RF LP CMOS technology is used to implement the feedback and tuning circuitry with an active area of 220 x 70 μm². The frequency tuning of the VCMO is achieved by programming a binary weighted digital capacitor bank and a varactor that are both connected in series to the resonator. The best measured phase noise performance of the VCMO is -72 and -153 dBc/Hz at 1 kHz and 10-MHz offsets from 178.23- and 175.83-MHz carriers, respectively. The VCMO consumes a dc current of 60 μA from a 1.2-V supply while realizing a tuning range of 2.4 MHz (~ 1.4% fractional tuning range). Such VCMOs can be applied to enable ultralow power, low phase noise, and wideband RF signal synthesis for emerging applications in Internet of Things.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

lithium niobates
microelectromechanical systems
MEMS
Q factors
Resonators
CMOS
Lithium
resonators
oscillators
Tuning
Electric potential
electric potential
tuning
Phase noise
Micromechanical resonators
harnesses
varactor diodes
Varactors
tradeoffs
programming

Keywords

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Lithium niobate
  • lithium niobate (LiNbO₃)
  • Micromechanical devices
  • oscillator
  • Phase noise
  • phase noise
  • Resonant frequency
  • Resonators
  • RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS).
  • Tuning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

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title = "A Tunable Low-Power Oscillator Based on High-Q Lithium Niobate MEMS Resonators and 65-nm CMOS",
abstract = "This paper presents a comprehensive guide to co-design piezoelectric RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) resonators and CMOS for enabling voltage-controlled MEMS oscillators (VCMOs) that harness the best benefits out of both platforms. The analysis, focusing on understanding different tradeoffs among the tuning range, power consumption, gain, and phase noise, is generic to any kind of piezoelectric resonators and specific for Colpitts VCMOs. As a result of this paper, the first VCMO based on the heterogeneous integration of a high-Q lithium niobate (LiNbO₃) micromechanical resonator and CMOS has been demonstrated. A LiNbO₃ resonator array with a series resonance at 171.1 MHz, a Q of 410, and an electromechanically coupling factor of 12.7{\%} is adopted, while the TSMC 65-nm RF LP CMOS technology is used to implement the feedback and tuning circuitry with an active area of 220 x 70 μm². The frequency tuning of the VCMO is achieved by programming a binary weighted digital capacitor bank and a varactor that are both connected in series to the resonator. The best measured phase noise performance of the VCMO is -72 and -153 dBc/Hz at 1 kHz and 10-MHz offsets from 178.23- and 175.83-MHz carriers, respectively. The VCMO consumes a dc current of 60 μA from a 1.2-V supply while realizing a tuning range of 2.4 MHz (~ 1.4{\%} fractional tuning range). Such VCMOs can be applied to enable ultralow power, low phase noise, and wideband RF signal synthesis for emerging applications in Internet of Things.",
keywords = "Internet of Things (IoT), Lithium niobate, lithium niobate (LiNbO₃), Micromechanical devices, oscillator, Phase noise, phase noise, Resonant frequency, Resonators, RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)., Tuning",
author = "Ali Kourani and Songbin Gong",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1109/TMTT.2018.2872959",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques",
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N2 - This paper presents a comprehensive guide to co-design piezoelectric RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) resonators and CMOS for enabling voltage-controlled MEMS oscillators (VCMOs) that harness the best benefits out of both platforms. The analysis, focusing on understanding different tradeoffs among the tuning range, power consumption, gain, and phase noise, is generic to any kind of piezoelectric resonators and specific for Colpitts VCMOs. As a result of this paper, the first VCMO based on the heterogeneous integration of a high-Q lithium niobate (LiNbO₃) micromechanical resonator and CMOS has been demonstrated. A LiNbO₃ resonator array with a series resonance at 171.1 MHz, a Q of 410, and an electromechanically coupling factor of 12.7% is adopted, while the TSMC 65-nm RF LP CMOS technology is used to implement the feedback and tuning circuitry with an active area of 220 x 70 μm². The frequency tuning of the VCMO is achieved by programming a binary weighted digital capacitor bank and a varactor that are both connected in series to the resonator. The best measured phase noise performance of the VCMO is -72 and -153 dBc/Hz at 1 kHz and 10-MHz offsets from 178.23- and 175.83-MHz carriers, respectively. The VCMO consumes a dc current of 60 μA from a 1.2-V supply while realizing a tuning range of 2.4 MHz (~ 1.4% fractional tuning range). Such VCMOs can be applied to enable ultralow power, low phase noise, and wideband RF signal synthesis for emerging applications in Internet of Things.

AB - This paper presents a comprehensive guide to co-design piezoelectric RF-micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) resonators and CMOS for enabling voltage-controlled MEMS oscillators (VCMOs) that harness the best benefits out of both platforms. The analysis, focusing on understanding different tradeoffs among the tuning range, power consumption, gain, and phase noise, is generic to any kind of piezoelectric resonators and specific for Colpitts VCMOs. As a result of this paper, the first VCMO based on the heterogeneous integration of a high-Q lithium niobate (LiNbO₃) micromechanical resonator and CMOS has been demonstrated. A LiNbO₃ resonator array with a series resonance at 171.1 MHz, a Q of 410, and an electromechanically coupling factor of 12.7% is adopted, while the TSMC 65-nm RF LP CMOS technology is used to implement the feedback and tuning circuitry with an active area of 220 x 70 μm². The frequency tuning of the VCMO is achieved by programming a binary weighted digital capacitor bank and a varactor that are both connected in series to the resonator. The best measured phase noise performance of the VCMO is -72 and -153 dBc/Hz at 1 kHz and 10-MHz offsets from 178.23- and 175.83-MHz carriers, respectively. The VCMO consumes a dc current of 60 μA from a 1.2-V supply while realizing a tuning range of 2.4 MHz (~ 1.4% fractional tuning range). Such VCMOs can be applied to enable ultralow power, low phase noise, and wideband RF signal synthesis for emerging applications in Internet of Things.

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