RFIC 2021
Conference paper

A High-Linearity, 24-30 GHz RF, Beamforming and Frequency-Conversion IC for Scalable 5G Phased Arrays

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Phased array antenna modules can benefit from splitting beamforming and frequency-conversion functions between different ICs to enable scalability, configurability and Si area efficiency. This work introduces a frequency-conversion IC that features architecture and high-linearity features that enable support of dual-polarized 5G scaled phased arrays with >64 antenna elements. The IC integrates two $\text{TX}+\text{RX}$ frequency conversion cores (one for each antenna polarization). Each core comprises (1) an RX path with two high-linearity mixers sharing a common load for power combining, (2) a TX path with an up-conversion mixer followed by a power splitter and two PAs, and (3) T/R switches. The IC occupies 10.6 mm2 and supports 24-30 GHz RF and 2-5 GHz IF. On-wafer measurement results from the full IC and an RX mixer core breakout are presented. The TX path achieves 7-14 dBm oP1dB while the RX mixer achieves >+14 dBm IIP3 at 28GHz. The TX path has a conversion gain >25 dB and <12.5 dB NF. The RX path for a single-input has >-1 dB conversion gain and <15 dB NF.