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Active frequency multiplier-by-nine MMIC for millimeter-wave signal generation

Active frequency multiplier-by-nine MMIC for millimeter-wave signal generation,U. Lewark,A. Tessmann,H. Massler,A. Leuther,I. Kallfass

Active frequency multiplier-by-nine MMIC for millimeter-wave signal generation  
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An active frequency multiplier-by-nine MMIC with integrated buffer amplifier reaching 94 GHz from X-band is presented. The multiplier-by-nine generates an average output power of -6.5 dBm in the frequency range from 87 to 99 GHz. At 94 GHz the measured output power is -5 dBm with an input power of 9 dBm. The suppression of unwanted harmonics is better than 15 dBc. Phase-noise measurements prove the theoretical noise degeneration of 19 dB for the integrated circuit. The MMIC is realized in the Fraunhofer IAF metamorphic HEMT technology with 100 nm gate-length. Index Terms—MMICs, millimeter wave frequency conversion, millimeter wave signal generation, frequency multiplier, phase- noise degradation, phase-noise measurement. I. INTRODUCTION Modern millimeter-wave imaging systems such as (1) need fast tunable, small and cheap signal sources. Higher frequency or faster frequency tuning result in higher image resolution and improved system performance. The realization of high fre- quency sources by a phase locked voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) becomes more difficult with increasing frequency. A combination of both, a multiplier chain and a low frequency source can solve this problem. Frequency multiplier chains convert fast tunable and high quality low frequency signals into the millimeter-wave frequency range. Commercially available multipliers into the X-band en- able the generation of X-band signals with a digital signal source such as a direct digital synthesis (DDS) chip. The X- band features low cost commercial system components such as amplifiers and multipliers. This paper presents an active multiplier-by-nine to convert the generated X-band signals into the W-band (75-110 GHz) addressing the atmospheric window at 94 GHz and an output bandwidth of 10 %. Integrated into a waveguide module it is possible to replace commercial source modules by a single MMIC for this frequency. Active frequency multiplication provides lower conversion losses and easier monolithic integration of multiplier stages into other active stages including amplifiers and mixers on a single MMIC. Frequency multiplier circuits have already been demonstrated at W-band frequencies with various mul- tiplication factors and circuit topologies (table I). In this approach two single-ended frequency tripler stages are form- ing an active multiplier-by-nine circuit for millimeter-wave signal generation at 94 GHz starting from X-band and using a single MMIC. The single-ended approach reduces power Fig. 1. Frequency multiplier-by-nine circuit topology with interstage power budget. consumption and chip size. Less stages also reduce the number of bias pads and simplifies the packaging of the MMIC. Most known millimeter-wave multiplier MMICs into the W- band only feature multiplication factors of less than four. The generation of the input signal of these multiplier circuits is not as comfortable as the generation from X-band.
Published in 2011.
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