A Wideband analog-controlled variable-gain amplifier with DB-linear characteristic for high-frequency applications

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 2016, 64 (2), pp. 33 - 540
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© 2015 IEEE. A higher frequency, over 2 GHz, is suggested for current 4G or 5G wideband applications. By adopting a unique gain control method, an analog-controlled variable-gain amplifier (VGA) with an accurate dB-linear characteristic is presented. The designed VGA not only features large bandwidth, but also has accurate gain adjustment with a relatively wide control voltage range. The VGA has a measured gain range of 24 dB, of which 17.3 dB is dB-linear with less than ±0.3-dB gain error. The -3-dB bandwidth is relatively constant from 2 to 2.2 GHz for the entire dB-linear range. An output 1-dB compression point of 1.8 dBm and a noise figure of 24 dB are measured. Due to the simple structure, the current consumption of the VGA core is only 2.9 mA from a 1.2-V supply, and the size is only 225 μm ×45 μm, excluding pads. Moreover, the robustness of the designed VGA is verified by means of Monte Carlo simulation.
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