30-40-GHz drain-pumped passive-mixer MMIC fabricated on VLSI SOI CMOS technology

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In this paper, a passive down mixer is proposed, which is well suited for short-channel field-effect transistor technologies. The authors believe that this is the first drain-pumped transconductance mixer that requires no dc supply power. The monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) is fabricated using digital 90-nm silicon-on-insulator CMOS technology. All impedance matching, bias, and filter elements are implemented on the chip, which has a compact size of 0.5 mm × 0.47 mm. The circuit covers a radio frequency range from 30 to 40 GHz. At a RF frequency of 35 GHz, an intermediate frequency of 2.5 GHz and a local-oscillator (LO) power of 7.5 dBm, a conversion loss of 4.6 dB, a single-sideband (SSB) noise figure (NF) of 7.9 dB, an 1-dB input compression point of -6 dBm, and a third-order intercept point at the input of 2 dBm were measured. At lower LO power of 0 dBm, a conversion loss of 6.3 dBm and an SSB NF of 9.7 dB were measured, making the mixer an excellent candidate for low power-consuming wireless local-area networks. All results include the pad parasitics. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first CMOS mixer operating at millimeter-wave frequencies. The achieved conversion loss is even lower than for passive MMIC mixers using leading edge III/V technologies, showing the excellent suitability of digital CMOS technology for analog circuits at millimeter-wave frequencies.