FocusThe research activity in the field of integrated circuits (IC) covers both the area of radio-frequency transceiver for radiofrequency (RF) applications and the low-power low-noise circuits for MEMES. Main focus of the first topic is the design of low-noise VCOs and of digitally-intensive PLLs for new transmitters’ architectures, that enable low power implementation. The second research topics is the design of new low-noise low-power ICs for MEMS sensors.
Fig. 1: 3.6GHz Bang-bang Fractional-N PLL with Direct Digital GMSK Modulation in 65nm CMOS
Fig. 2: 5GHz Coupled Oscillators
Fig. 3: IF-sampling receiver for GSM
Most relevant research achievements
Design of high purity oscillators for multiGHz application
Voltage controlled oscillators (VCO) are still one of the main bottleneck for the complete integration of modern CMOS transceivers, specification for established standards, such as GMS, as well as the new LTE, makes this circuits very power consuming. Our research group has developed a strong expertise in this filed, as certified by the publication of the book (Cambridge Un. Press), and has proposed several design solutions to circumvent the main issues related to VCO implementation. Recent research activity is in particular focused on the conversion mechanism of 1/f noise, which is a major problem for high performance communications IC.
Design of advanced CMOS frequency synthesizers and transmitters for LTE and WiMAX applications
Modern wireless standards demand for high-data rate transmitters, that at the same time must consume low power and feature low noise. The research group has contributed to the development of innovative architecture of frequency synthesizers and phase(frequency modulators, employed in modern architectures of transmitters,. In particular a high-efficiency low-noise modulator based on a new digital PLL architecture has demonstrated for the first time.
Design of IC for MEMS
MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Sensors) devices allow to integrate a number of different sensors, for instance gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers and so forth. The market is hugely and continuously growing, and MEMS are considered one of the most important technologies in the microelectronics field, for the years to come. The research activity is focused on the design of low-noise and low-power integrated electronics both for the signal sensing and to drive these devices, in particular for MEMS magnetometers .