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2004 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on Advanced System Integrated Circuits(AP-ASIC2004)/ Aug. 4-5,2004

A 1.2y 18mW, lOGbls SiCe Transimpedance Amplifier

Chihun Lee, Chia-Hsin Wu, and Shen-Iuan Liu

Graduate Institute of Electronics Engineering & Department of Electrical Engineering

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 10617, R. 0. C.

Abstract

To the authors' knowledge, the first 1.2V, ISmW,

10Gb/s SiGe transimpedance amplifier (TIA) is presented

here. It has been realized in a 0 . 3 5 ~

area is 0.45mmz with pads. Employing inductive series

and shunt peaking techniques, the proposed TIA can

achieve a transimpedance gain of 61.6dBQ and the

bandwidth of 7.4GHz, while dissipating only 18mW with

1.2V supply. With an equivalent photodiode capacitance of

0.15pF, this TIA shows the input referred noise current

density of 22pAi dHz.

SiGe process and its

1. Introduction

The growing popularity of multimedia applications

demands high data rate wired telecommunication systems.

Many existing wired systems require 10Gb/s analog

kont-ends, such as OC192 for telecommunications and

10Gb/s Ethernet for data communications. The key

requirements for designing a high-speed front-end are: 1)

to integrate both the high-speed analog front-end and

digital back-end and 2) low voltage and low power.

Traditionally, analog RF front-end utilized high f T

transistors of GaAs. However, GaAs RF circuits could not

be integrated with succeeding CMOS digital processors.

With the past decade, there is a significant effort to

implement the multi-gigabits optical front-ends [1]-[5] in

BiCMOS and CMOS technologies. It can provide the

advantages of high integration and low cost.

Conventional bandwidth-enhancement techniques,

such as the regulated cascode topology [2] [3] and the

negative feedback configuration [I], will suffer the

limitation of the supply voltage. When the deep submicron

technology advances further, the low supply voltage is

indispensable. In this paper, a low-voltage and low power

transimpedance amplifier (TIA) utilizes the inductive

series and shunt peaking techniques to improve the overall

bandwidth. To save the power dissipations, this proposed

TIA can provide a high transimpedance gain without a

power-hungry buffer because it uses the same gain stage to

match a 50-ohm resistive load directly. A 1.2 V, IgmW,

1 OGbls SiGe transimpedance amplifier is implemented in

a 0.35pm SiGe 3p3m process. Compared to the current

high-speed TlAs [I]-[6], the proposed one can achieve the

lowest supply voltage and lowest power consumption.

11. Circuit design

A. Low-voltage amplifier

To develop low-voltage analog and digital circuits is

0-7803-8637-x104/$20.00~2004 IEEE.

300

fi,

ZL IDDrnV

U

l m m "

1 1 - 1 1 , .

f

(a)

(b)

Fig. 1 Common emitter amplifier (a) conventional topology

(b) proposed low-voltage one.

of great interest. In [7], it is described that bipolar circuits

have the iooate DC headroom problem. For the bipolar

transistors with a constant current density, the base-emitter

voltage (VBE) does not decrease with the scale-down

technology and it has a turn-on voltage of 8OOmV. Besides,

a minimum collector-emitter voltage (VcE) around 400mV

can protect high-speed bipolar transistors against heavy

saturation. Under a supply voltage of 1.2V, the classical

cascode amplifier using bipolar devices is forbidden.

Fig. I illustrates two common emitter amplifiers. The

evaluation of their minimum supply voltage for a low

supply voltage of 1.2V and high-speed operation are

considered. In the conventional topology of Fig. l(a), it

uses a bypass capacitor CB and a tail current source.I,,

that may occupy 500mV headroom in experience.

Obviously, the sum of VBE in Q1 and the voltage across

the tail current source will exceed the supply voltage. Fig.

I(b) represents a shunt-shunt feedback amplifier with RF,

which can have a dc self bias and provide input matching.

When the voltage swings across Z , maintain as small as

IOOmV, it is sufficient to make the amplifier operated in

the supply voltage below 1V operation.

Furthermore, the voltage gain for two common

emitter amplifiers in Figs. l(a) and (h) can be calculated.

For the conventional commoo emitter amplifier io Fig. l(a)

with the bypass capacitor, CB, the small-signal voltage

gain can be

where g, is the transconductance. Since g, = IcNT, eq. (I)

can he sequentially simplified as follows:

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2004 EEE Asia-Pacific Conference on Advanced System Integrated Circuits(AP-ASIC2004)/ Aug. 4-5,2004

Fig. 2 The proposed TIA

Fig. 3 The small-signal model for the proposed TlA

where VT = kT/q. In eq. (2), the sufticient voltage across

ZL can increase the gain and it is especially important for

low-voltage amplifiers. Supposed that the impedance of ZL

is much smaller than RF, the low-voltage topology in Fig.

I(b) can reach a similar voltage gain as Fig. l(a). By

means of Miller's theorem, the input impedance of the

amplifier in Fig. l(h) can be

R F -

1-A

RF

I+g,Z,

Ri, =--

(3)

Furthermore, this input impedance can be designed to

match the input 5Oohm termination according to eq. (3).

B. The proposed TIA

Based on Fig. l(b), the proposed TIA is presented in

Fig. 2 by using the inductive series and shunting peaking

techniques [8]. Compared to the conventional TIAs [1-5],

the proposed one can have several advantages: self-bias

operation, low input impedance, and high gain for

low-voltage and low-power applications.

The small-signal model for the proposed TIA is

shown in Fig. 3. An inductor Ls can be inserted between a

photodiode CpD and a shunt-shunt feedback amplifier in

order to increase the bandwidth. In practical, the core

amplifier exhibits one pole system. Thus, series peaking

with a damping factor of 1/42 can multiply the bandwidth

by 1.4 times. The inductive shuntmg peaking technique is

used in high-speed output buffers to ease the trade-off

between output matching, speed, and voltage headroom. An

inductor Lp in series with the resistance Rp can enlarge the

t-

series peaking --T--- Proposed

"

::I.

Conventional

I

. Shunt peaking

1:''

,

I

.

.

,

,

.

!:

Normalized frequency

Fig. 4 Simulated bandwidths for the conventional TIA, the

series peaking one, the shunting peaking one and the

proposed one, respectively.

bandwidth. Therefore, the shunt peaking technique can

'also have a flat response to enhance the bandwidth by a

factor of 1.7. The simulated bandwidth enhancement

factors for the conventional TIA, the series peaking one,

the shunting peaking one and the proposed one,

respectively, are shown in Fig. 4. Compared to the

conventional amplifier, the bandwidth enhancement factor

for the conventional TIA, the series peaking one, the

shunting peaking one and the proposed one is 1.4, 1.7 and

2.1, respectively. Obviously, the proposed TIA can have a

larger bandwidth enhancement factor.

C. Devices selection for the proposed TIA

In considerations of DC biasing, the selection for the

bipolar transistors should trade off among headroom of

VCE, collector current density (Jc), unity-gain 6equency

(fi), gain, noise, and power consumptions. In addition, a

bipolar device with Jc of 640 uA/um* is selected f o r the

high-speed date rates of 10Gb/s. Each identical bipolar

transistor in the proposed TIA obtains l.lv headroom and

achieves the current gain of 160 with f,of 40GHz.

1 1 1 . Experimental results

The proposed TIA has been implemented in a

0.35~11 3P3M SiGe process and measured by on-wafer

probing. Fig. 5 shows two TIAs: the top one is the

proposed TIA with eight inductors and the bottom one is a

series peaking TIA with four inductors. Due to high-speed

considerations, the small inductors below 1nH are used.

Two core circuits separately occupy the area of

900um x 400um and 900um x 200um, respectively.

Operating from the supply voltage of 1.2V, both of them

consume the same current of 15mA.

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2004 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on Advanced System Integrated Circuits(AP-ASIC2004)/ Aug. 4-5,2004

the series peaking one (bottom).

With an equivalent photodiode capacitance of

0.15pF, both TIAs are measured by on-wafer probing. For

a supply voltage of 1.2V, the measured transimpedance

gain for the proposed TIA and the series peaking one is

61.6dBR and 58dBR, respectively, as shown in Fig. 6(a).

The measured bandwidth, f.3dB, for the proposed TIA and

the series peaking one is 7.4GHz and 4.4GHz, respectively.

The measured bandwidth enhancement factor is 2.45 and

1.46 for the proposed TIA and the series peaking one,

respectively. Fig. 6(b) illustrates the approximately linear

phase response for both TIAs. Fig. 7 shows the

transimpedance response for different power supplies. It is

demonstrated that the proposed TIA can normally work

1.2V and further below 1V. Fig. 8 shows the measured

6equency response for the proposed TIA under 1.2V,

where sll and s22 are almost below -1OdB. When the

supply voltage is 1.2V, the measured eye diagrams by

PRBS of 2^''-I are shown in Fig. 9. It can achieve the

highest data rate of 12.5Ghk.

70 I

I

I

. ...

.

...

c

30

:

. :

. ' ' <

20

lOOM

1G

lffi

Frequency (Hz)

ri:

I

:

I

.

,

:

I

-1w

I

0

5G

10G

1%

20G

Frequency (Hr)

(h)

Fig. 6 (a) the measured transimpedance gain for the

proposed TIA and the series peaking one.

(b) the measured phase response for the proposed TIA and

the series peaking one.

lOOM

1G

Frequency (Hr)

Fig. 7 Measured gain of the proposed TIA is 54.3 dBR and

6 1.6 dB0 for IV and 1.2V supply voltages, respectively.

Feequency (Hr)

Fig. 8 Measured frequency response for the proposed TIA

with the supply voltage 1.2V

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2004 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on Advanced System Integrated Circuits(AP-ASIC2004)/ Aug. 4-5,2004

IV. Conclusions

Table I summarizes the measured performances of

the proposed TIA, compared with other literatures. This

TIA can operate under the supply voltage of 1.2V and

18mW power dissipations. To authors’ knowledge, it is the

first lOGb/s SiGe transimpedance amplifier (TIA) with

I .2V supply voltage. By using both the inductive series

and shunting peaking techniques, the gain of 61.6dBR and

the bandwidth of 7.4GHz can he achieved for IOGB/s

applications.

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank National Chip

lmplementation Center for chip implementation. Special

thanks to Mr. Wen, Mr. Chiu, and Dr. Huang of National

Nano Device Laboratory team for measurement supporting.

This work was supported in part by MediaTek Inc.

V. References

[I]. B. Razavi, “A 622 Mb/s 4.5 pAIdHz CMOS

transimpedance amplifier,” ISSCC Tech. Dig. pp. 162

-163,453, Feb. 2000.

W. Z. Chen and C. H. Lu, “A 2.5 Gbps CMOS optical

receiver analog front-end," CICC, 2002. Proceedings of

the IEEE 2002, pp. 359 -362, May 2002.

J. Lee, S-J. Song, S. M. P a r k C-M. Nam, Y-S. Kwon, and

H-J. Yoo, “A multichip on oxide of I Gbis 80 dB

fully-differential CMOS transimpedance amplifier for

optical interconnect applications,” ISSCC Tech. Dig. pp.

80 447, Feb. 2002.

H. H. Kim, S. Chandrasekhar, C. A. Burrus, and J.

Bauman, “A Si BiCMOS transimpedance amplifier for

I 0-Gbis SONET receiver,” IEEE I. Solid-State Circuits,

vol. 36, pp. 169 -776, May 2001.

B. Analui and H. Ali, “Multi-pole bandwidth enhancement

technique for transimpedance amplifier,” ESSCIRC 2002,

Session C16, pp. 303-306, Sept. 2002

A. K. Petersen, et al.,“Front-end CMOS chipset for 10

Gbis communication,”RFIC 2002, pp. 93-96, June 2002.

B. Razavi, Y. Ota, and R. G Swartz, “Design techniques

for low-voltage high-speed digital bipolar circuits,” IEEE

I. Solid-state Circuits, vol. 29, pp. 332 -339, March 1994.

[2].

[3].

[4].

[SI.

[6].

[7].

CO)

Fig. 9 Measured eye-diagrams for the proposed TIA with

input equivalent current of lOOUAp,, 1.2V supply, and input

data

(a) IOGb/s of PRBS 2^”’-l

vertical scale: 2OmV/div).

(b) 12.5Gh/s of PRBS 2A3’-l (Horizontal scale: 2Ops/div,

vertical scale: 20mVidiv).

(Horizontal scale: 5Ops/div,

[SI. S. S. Mohan, M. M. Hershenson, S. P. Boyd, and T. H.

Lee, “Bandwidth extension in CMOS with optimized

on-chip inductors,” IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, vol. 35,

pp. 346 -335, March 2000

Table I. Performance summary (X: not mentioned)

303