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19.5 A Receiver for LTE Rel-11 and Beyond Supporting Non-Contiguous Carrier Aggregation
One challenging requirement on the complex IF receiver architecture is the IQ imbalance (IQI) that needs to be sufficiently low to avoid co-channel interference caused by blocking signals around the image frequency. The RF mixer and associated LO signals are major contributors to frequency-independent IQI (FI-IQI). Calibration of FI-IQI is possible at the baseband side of the IFM that contains eight main paths (denoted by M in Fig. 19.5.2) and four leakage paths (denoted L in Fig. 19.5.2), based on R-2R ladders, that emanate from the four HR mixers. The paths are recombined to form the I and Q signals for lower and upper carriers. The main paths can be adjusted ±6.7% around the nominal value in 0.2% steps whereas the leakage paths, nominally set to zero, can be adjusted to provide a leakage with the same range and resolution as the main paths. All in all, theoretically this guarantees 63dB achievable IRR. In addition to FI-IQI, frequency-dependent IQI (FD-IQI) is also present, dominated by the IF filter. To calibrate FD-IQI it is, however, sufficient to digitally control resistors R3 and R4 in the IF filter. The measurements presented below were carried out with maximum receiver gain, 45dBV. The performance measurements exclude on-chip ADCs due to the wideband noise coupling from the LVDS drivers to the RF inputs limiting the sensitivity. Figure 19.5.3 shows the harmonic rejection capability of the receiver. The receiver was configured to receive two 5MHz channels, one on each side of band 25 covering 1930 to 1995MHz (serving as first target band for NC CA standardization within 3GPP). This corresponds to 30MHz IF and with 12 samples per IF LO period the IF clock frequency is 12×30 = 360MHz. Conversion gain was measured by sweeping a test tone around each IF LO harmonic and measuring its contribution to the lower carrier baseband output. The rejection is 69dB or better relative to the assigned carrier (disregarding the uncalibrated image that is inside the RX band) but higher than 80dB for frequency offsets within ± 11×IF relative to the assigned carrier. Figure 19.5.4 shows the measured image rejection ratio (IRR) over the assigned channels when the receiver was configured for band 7 (yielding larger uncalibrated IQI compared with band 25) with two 20MHz carriers and 24MHz IF. The measurements show IRR before calibration and after calibration of both FI-IQI and FD-IQI. Average IRR reaches above 60dB. Measured ICP1dB, IIP2, and IIP3 are shown in Fig. 19.5.5, again with the receiver configured for two 5MHz channels in band 25. The IIP2 was measured by applying two test tones separated by the IF to capture the performance of the RF front-end and IF filter that have the most stringent requirements. Figure 19.5.6 summarizes the performance of the receiver together with performance from prior published work. Finally, a chip micrograph is shown in Fig. 19.5.7 with outlines to identify the different blocks. Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank ST-Ericsson design and EDA teams for providing access to prototype IP blocks, technical support and for assisting in chip assembly. References:  3rd-Generation Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (Release 10), 3GPP TS 36.101 V10.8.0 (2012-09).  H. Khatri, et al. “A SAW-less CDMA Receiver Front-End with Single-Ended LNA and Single-Balanced Mixer with 25% Duty-Cycle LO in 65nm CMOS,” IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symp., pp. 13-16, June 2009.  J. Rogin, et al., “A Tri-Band SAW-Less WCDMA/HSPA RF CMOS Transceiver with On-Chip DC-DC Converter Connectable to Battery,” ISSCC Dig. Tech. Papers, pp. 60-61, Feb. 2010.  Riyan W., et al., “A 1.2-V CMOS Front-End for LTE Direct Conversion SAWLess Receiver,” IEEE International Symp. Radio Frequency Integration Technology, pp. 85-88, 2011.  Xie H., et al., “Single-Chip Multiband EGPRS and SAW-Less LTE WCDMA CMOS Receiver with Diversity,” IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 1390-1396, May 2012.  Anderson M., et al., “A 4.75-34.75 MHz Digitally Tunable Active-RC LPF for >60dB Mean RX IRR in 65nm CMOS,” European Solid-State Circuits Conf., pp. 470-473, 2012.  Sundström L., et al., “Complex IF Harmonic Rejection Mixer for NonContiguous Dual Carrier Reception in 65nm CMOS,” European Solid-State Circuits Conf., pp. 357-360, 2012.
Lars Sundström, Martin Anderson, Roland Strandberg, Staffan Ek, Jim Svensson, Fenghao Mu, Thomas Olsson, Imad ud Din, Leif Wilhelmsson, Daniel Eckerbert, Sven Mattisson
Ericsson, Lund, Sweden Carrier aggregation (CA) is introduced in 3GPP LTE Rel-10  to meet the demand for further increased bitrates. While LTE Rel-10 supports simultaneous reception of two carriers either in contiguous intra-band or in inter-band CA configuration, the upcoming LTE Rel-11 will add support for non-contiguous (NC) carriers within bands. Supporting NC CA in handsets is a demanding challenge for several reasons. Foremost, the total bandwidth spanned by the carriers may be several times the bandwidth of the individual carriers, possibly spanning an entire band with interfering signals between desired carriers. Furthermore, the distance between TX and RX carriers will vary and worse, may be much smaller than the fixed duplex distance for LTE Rel-8 and W-CDMA single carrier operation [2-5]. This paper presents a single-chip receiver supporting both NC intra-band and inter-band CA with the capability to receive up to three carriers simultaneously. The receiver block diagram is illustrated in Fig. 19.5.1. Using two configurable RF frontends the receiver spans frequencies from 700 to 1500MHz in low-band and 1800 to 2700MHz in high-band. The baseband section contains three IQ baseband paths. Each contains a pair of channel-select filters and ADCs capable of handling one LTE carrier with a bandwidth of 5, 10, 15, or 20MHz. The RF front-ends are connected to a switch unit that allows the signal from each frontend to be routed directly to one of the baseband paths to operate as a regular homodyne receiver for single-carrier reception. Inter-band CA reception with two carriers is supported by configuring the receiver as two parallel homodyne paths operated at different RF frequencies. Intra-band CA reception is achieved by double conversion where one of the RF front-ends first downconverts both the carriers to an intermediate frequency (IF) equal to half the carrier separation. The RF mixer output signal is then routed to the IF circuit where the two carrier components are separated and downconverted to baseband. Since the two intraband carriers only occupy one RF front-end and two baseband paths, a third carrier can be downconverted using the other RF front-end and the remaining baseband path as a homodyne receiver. The IF circuit, containing an IF filter  followed by a time-discrete harmonic rejection complex IF mixer (IFM) , is depicted in more detail with single-ended signal representation in Fig. 19.5.2. Exemplifying spectra are also shown to demonstrate the principle of the complex IF path for downconversion from IF to baseband and the separation of two carriers. The IF filter provides selectivity against out-of-band signals (like the TX leakage) thereby relaxing the harmonic rejection and dynamic range requirements on subsequent blocks. For this design, a 3rd-order lowpass filter was selected. It terminates the passive currentmode RF mixer through the switch unit with a low impedance over the IF bandwidth. At the same time it provides a gain optimized to prevent out-of-band blockers from saturating the receiver. The bandwidth is reconfigurable from 4.75 to 34.75MHz in steps of 2.5MHz to support NC carriers spanning a frequency range up to 70MHz. The IF filter drives the IFM over a voltage interface with a differential output impedance lower than 100Ω up to 500MHz to enable IFM harmonic rejection >65dB. In turn, the IFM loads each IF filter differential port with 1.5kΩ. The IFM is also driven by a synthesized digital sequencer that provides four fully programmable thermometer-coded 64b oversampled IF LO waveforms, one for each harmonic rejection (HR) mixer in the IFM. The sequencer has a variable LO waveform length from 2 to 24 samples. A ring-oscillator based fractional-N PLL with 195-to-390MHz frequency range, 12Hz resolution, and 2.5mW power consumption drives a reconfigurable divider (÷1,2…16). This divider clocks the sequencer and the HR mixers, the latter for local re-timing of the sequencer data having large latency spread. With the LO waveforms represented by 12 samples per period the IF LO range becomes 1.0 to 32.5MHz. The RF front-end and baseband paths are based on IP blocks from a single-carrier LTE Rel-8 homodyne receiver prototype, which were not redesigned for optimal performance in the intra-band CA mode.
• 2013 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
978-1-4673-4516-3/13/$31.00 ©2013 IEEE
IIP2. principle of operation and means for calibration.4: Measured IRR for lower and upper carriers. Figure 19.5. Figure 19.5.5.ISSCC 2013 / February 20. Figure 19.5.2: IF section. and IIP3 for lower carrier.3: Measured conversion gain for lower carrier.6: Performance summary and comparison. 19 Figure 19.5. DIGEST OF TECHNICAL PAPERS • 337 .5: Measured ICP1dB. Figure 19.1: Block diagram of carrier aggregation receiver. 2013 / 10:45 AM Figure 19.5.
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