Characterization of symmetrical spiral inductor in 0.35 μm CMOS technology for RF application

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Tumasik, 00, Singapore
Solid-State Electronics (Impact Factor: 1.51). 09/2004; 48(9):1643-1650. DOI: 10.1016/j.sse.2004.04.004

ABSTRACT Characteristics of symmetrical spiral inductor in differential mode is studied and optimized in this work. The characteristics of interest include inductor value, quality factor, peak frequency and self-resonance frequency. Both single-layer and double-layer inductor using top metals are characterized. Inductor excited in differential mode and single-ended mode are characterized for comparison. The optimized symmetrical spiral inductors are fabricated in standard digital 0.35 μm CMOS process. Experimental results show 60–100% improvement of quality factor and peak frequency, meanwhile 10–20% improvement of self-resonance frequency by exciting the symmetrical spiral inductors in differential mode compared with single-ended mode. To further validate the characterized inductor, the differential spiral inductors are adopted in optimizing low power and low phase noise fully integrated 2.4 GHz voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). The designed VCO achieved phase noise of more than −105 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset with approximately 4.5 mA at 3.0 V supply.

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