IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—II: EXPRESS BRIEFS, VOL. 58, NO.
10, OCTOBER 2011
A Tuneable Active Inductor With High Dynamic Range for Band-Pass Filter Applications
Giorgio Leuzzi, Vincenzo Stornelli, and Stefano Del Re
Abstract—An approach for the design of high-Q active inductor (AI) with high dynamic range is presented. The proposed AI includes a passive variable phase- and amplitude-compensating network and a highly linear inverting ampliﬁer, forming a gyrator-C architecture. The equivalent inductance and resistance values are tunable in a wide frequency range; outside the operating frequency band, the inductor equivalent resistance increases, improving signal rejection for band-pass ﬁlter applications. As a feasibility demonstration, a ﬁrst-order active band-pass ﬁlter using the high-Q active inductance has been fabricated and tested. The ﬁlter has a center frequency of 600 MHz and a measured noise ﬁgure of 11 dB with a 5-dBm 1-dB compression point and an 82-dB dynamic range. Index Terms—Active ﬁlter, active inductor (AI), gyrator, high dynamic range.
Fig. 1. Block scheme of a traditional gyrator-based AI.
I. I NTRODUCTION
UTURE portable communication transceivers will need low-cost high-performance radio-frequency (RF) frontend integrated circuits (ICs) with low power consumption, small area, high operating frequency (up to hundreds of gigahertz), and high reliability. In the recent years, most RF building blocks have been successfully implemented in IC processes with different technologies. However, most wireless receivers still use off-chip ﬁlters, typically implemented with discrete components, which occupy a large part of the frontend area. Up to now, several applications of integrated spiral inductors in the ultrahigh frequency (300 MHz–3 GHz) and higher frequency range have been presented. Unfortunately, spiral inductors require large amounts of substrate area or air bridges and have limited bandwidth, high series resistance, and crosstalk problems. On the other hand, ﬁlters using active inductors have a good potential to operate at high frequency, with high dynamic range, maintaining a constant Q factor in tunable applications when coupled with varactor diode; hence, a considerable amount of interest has been shown in their use. Nonetheless, they still remain the most difﬁcult part to be integrated because of high power consumption and relatively low power handling capabilities together with high noise ﬁgure (NF) and potential instability. The ﬁrst high-Q active inductors (AIs) were reported over two decades ago , , then L–C resonator-type active ﬁlters, including AIs, have been presented in several papers, but high-Q high-frequency inductorless band-pass ﬁlters usually
suffer from a very low dynamic range due to the combination of a high noise level introduced by the AI and the relatively low compression power level of the AI itself. For all these reasons, there are only a few commercial solutions available on the market based on AIs. In this brief, we present a new approach for the design of tunable high quality-factor stable AIs suitable for relatively high signal power handling applications at RF. The design method is presented in Section II; in Section III, the implementation of a grounded tunable AI with high quality factor Q is described. In Section IV, a simple ﬁrst-order band-pass ﬁlter, including the novel AI, is presented, whereas in Section V, some remarks will be presented. II. G YRATOR P ROPERTIES AND N ONIDEALITIES : A N A PPROACH FOR THE D ESIGN OF H IGH -L INEARITY G ROUNDED AIs Various kinds of AIs have been proposed in the literature –, –. The simulation of grounded inductors is usually accomplished by a gyrator loaded with a capacitor (see Fig. 1). The input voltage drives the capacitor through the inverting transconductance ampliﬁer (typically a common–source stage), producing a 90◦ delayed voltage; this, in turn, drives the output current through noninverting transconductance, typically a source follower. From the inspection of the Fig. 1 circuit, assuming ideal ampliﬁers, we have gm1 · Vin (1) VC = − jωC gm1 · gm2 1 · Vin = · Vin . (2) Iin = − gm2 · VC = jωC jωLeq Therefore, the equivalent inductance of the gyrator-based AI is given by Leq = C . gm1 gm2 (3)
Manuscript received February 8, 2011; revised May 9, 2011; accepted July 4, 2011. Date of publication September 8, 2011; date of current version October 19, 2011. This paper was recommended by Associate Editor R. Martins. The authors are with the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy (e-mail: giorgio. email@example.com). Digital Object Identiﬁer 10.1109/TCSII.2011.2164145
1549-7747/$26.00 © 2011 IEEE
i. the value of the phase of the compensating network is easily determined.
1 1 + Zin1 Zμ1 1 1 1 1 − − − × −gm1 − Zout1 Zμ2 Zin2 Zin1
. OCTOBER 2011
If the input impedance of the compensating network is high enough. which introduce little or no distortion at the operating power levels. The goal is to obtain a zero resistance in the band of interest and a positive resistance elsewhere. and the transconductance ampliﬁer has a reasonably high output impedance value. 58. A simple and effective implementation of the network will be shown in Section III. when the AI is used as the tuning element in an oscillator .
Obviously. Both the unit-gain voltage ampliﬁer and the inverting transconductance ampliﬁer are highly linear. and some resonances appear. which can therefore be high. the two addends in the expression of the equivalent inductance will add up. two unwanted effects arise. the transconductance ampliﬁer is modeled by a voltage-controlled current source and by three impedance matrices. 10. The passive linear compensation network is a general one described by its impedance matrix. with ﬁxed gain.e. the phase must be such that. a resistance (positive or negative) appears in series to the equivalent inductance. It is easy to see that less than 90◦ gives positive resistance. (7) gm Avar gm Avar
The phase of the compensating network must be such that the two addends are cancelled in the expression of the equivalent resistance. Its variable elements are high-linearity varactors and possibly ﬁeld-effect transistors (FETs) in the ohmic region. from the analysis of (6) and (7). whereas a positive nonzero resistance introduces losses. 2. this is true only if the two transconductance ampliﬁers are ideal and no phase delays or losses are present. and capacitance Ctot includes the capacitance C and the input capacitance of the transconductance ampliﬁer. VOL. 3. which sets transconductance. In most studies presented in the literature –. our approach in the presented AI topology is to control both the inductance value and the series resistance without affecting the linearity of the active component of the gyrator. the bandwidth of the inductive impedance becomes ﬁnite. .  the inductance value and its quality factor are controlled by acting on the bias current of the active devices. The compensating network provides variable attenuation and delay.648
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—II: EXPRESS BRIEFS. In addition. in fact. a negative resistance can cause instability in ﬁlters. ﬁrst of all. although in some applications. This model allows covering both the case of FET ampliﬁers and the case of bipolar junction transistor (BJT) ampliﬁers without losing generality. In this case. we can write the following approximated relation in a limited bandwidth: Iin = −gm · VC = gm · Avar · ejϕvar 1 · Vin ≈ · Vin . Given the high input impedance of the unitgain ampliﬁer... therefore. If the unit-gain ampliﬁer has a reasonably high input impedance value. The series resistance appears when the phase relation between the input voltage and the current is different from 90◦ . This approach is based on the insertion of a suitable variable passive compensation network  both in amplitude Avar and phase ϕvar . We remark that the possibility to control the value of the series resistance is fundamental in the design of AIs. the compensating network can include highimpedance elements. Block scheme of the AI with high dynamic range. the resulting dynamic range is usually small. i. Fig. Obviously. in the gyrator (see Fig. which do not draw current from the input voltage. An equivalent representation of the proposed scheme is shown in Fig. For these reasons. Depending on the relative values of the cosine and sine coefﬁcient terms. 1 + jωRpar Ctot Req + jωLeq (6)
In particular. Because the AI is an intrinsically noisy circuit. the presence of a negative resistance could be tolerated. a strongly nonlinear transcharacteristic curve of the active device. the equivalent resistance is always positive.e. we cannot derive in an analytical way the topology of the compensating network. second. –. then often useless in RF front-end circuitry. the equivalent resistance and inductance have the following expressions:
Fig. outside the band of interest. 2). Capacitance C can be included in the impedance Zout1 or in Zin2 . from (6). When nonidealities in the transconductance values are taken into account. whereas a phase relation in excess of 90◦ gives negative resistance. NO. in the band of interest. for instance. This approach limits the linearity of the AI for relatively high signal power because it requires a biasdependent small-signal gain and. 3 circuit input impedance is given by Zin = N D1 + D2 + D3 + D4 + D5 1 1 + N = Y22 + Zin1 Zμ1 1 1 1 1 + + + × gm1 + Zout1 Zμ2 Zin2 Zin1 1 gm1 + Zin1 − Zin1 1 Zin1 1 − gm 2 Zμ2
D1 = Y21 gm1 + D2 = Y22 +
where resistance Rpar is the output resistance of the unit-gain ampliﬁer. we can write V1 = Avar · ejϕvar · Vin 1 VC = − V1 1 + jωRpar Ctot (4) (5)
Req = Leq
1 ωRpar Ctot cos(ϕvar ) + sin(ϕvar ) gm Avar gm Avar 1 ωRpar Ctot =− sin(ϕvar ) + cos(ϕvar ).
to set up a network that provides the desired impedance parameters in a narrow bandwidth. however. Obviously. and RC are the bias elements of the common–emitter and common–collector stages. The noninverting ampliﬁer is a common–collector stage. Y22 + Zin1 Zμ1 Zμ2
If the impedance and the transconductance values of the ampliﬁers are known in a given bandwidth. the exact values of the network elements have
Fig. and Z22 such that the input impedance has the expression Zin = R + jωL. 3. whereas the inverting transconductance ampliﬁer is a common–emitter stage. The compensating network is composed of the capacitors CCOMP1 and CCOMP2 . Re .LEUZZI et al. employing standard values for surface-mount device (SMD) components.
been found by optimization in order to take into account microstrip discontinuities and lines. we can evaluate Z11 .
. AI Based on this approach. The topology of the compensating network has been designed using the linear analysis made in the previous paragraph. we can design the necessary compensation network topology in order to obtain an inductive behavior with the desired series resistance. 5. (9)
In this way. With this topology and for the designed element values. it turns out that networks providing some delay without too much attenuation are the best candidates. The latter can be also reduced by selecting suitable tuning elements and compensating network topology. In practice. ﬁnding a suitable network for Z11 . Z12 . Clearly. Rb2 . whose bias networks are not shown in the schematic for simplicity. Z12 . the circuit has an inductive behavior with minimum nonnegative series resistance around 900 MHz and positive resistance elsewhere. 4. It must be also remarked that the input and output impedance values of the amplifying stages contribute to the expressions above. Distortion in the circuit is due to nonlinearities in the ampliﬁers and in the passive tuning elements in the compensating network. Resistances Rb1 . for instance.
General model of the two transconductance ampliﬁers in the gyrator. by selecting larger active devices with higher power handling capabilities.
D4 = Y21 Y12 −gm1 − D5 = − 1 Zμ2
1 1 1 1 − − − Zout1 Zμ2 Zin2 Zin1 1 1 1 + − gm 2 . the expressions in (8) can be derived and simpliﬁed. Z21 . resistance–capacitance or inductance–capacitance networks.
× −Y11 − D3 = Y12 + Zμ2 Zin1
1 1 − Zμ2 Zout2 1 gm1 + Zin1 Zin1
1 1 − Zμ2 Zout2
Fig. FETs and varactor diodes can be replaced by resistance and capacitance with ﬁxed values. both ampliﬁers are based on the n-p-n BJT BFR92A. The simpliﬁed schematic of the proposed circuit is shown in Fig. Capacitance values labeled with CDCB are direct-current (dc)-block elements. with relatively high values. if no tunability is needed. it is possible. RCOMP1 and RCOMP2 are medium-power FETs in their triode regions. 4. In particular. Z21 . In each case. Electrical scheme of the proposed AI. An example is given below. CCOMP1 and CCOMP2 are varactors. The former can be arbitrarily reduced at the expenses of higher dc power consumption. Real and imaginary parts of the AI input impedance as a function of frequency. III. or by selecting a higher bias current. whereas CL is the load capacitance of the gyrator. we have designed an AI using a medium-power bipolar transistor. and Z22 in a wide bandwidth is not an easy task. together with the resistances RCOMP1 and RCOMP2 .: TUNEABLE AI WITH HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE FOR BAND-PASS FILTER APPLICATIONS
(b) Measured large-signal reﬂection coefﬁcient of the AI for increasing input signal power. the value of the resonator capacitance C [see Fig. 6. The tunability of the equivalent inductance. On the contrary. giving the circuit responses in Fig. the measured and simulated S-parameters of the ﬁlter are shown for a third tuning state. including the proposed AI. will be given in the next paragraph. 58. IV.
The real and imaginary parts of the input impedance of the AI are shown in Fig. The ﬁlter is centered at 600 MHz and has a 3-dB bandwidth of about 300 MHz. 6(a) shows the complex impedance on the Smith chart. 7(a)] is a shunt resonator. 8. where a resonance appears. in a frequency range between 0. The varactor in the compensating network is BB145C by Philips Semiconductors. is important for the assessment of the stability properties of the circuit. 9. The measurements have been performed using the Anritsu MS4624B vector network analyzer. we observe a 0.
Fig. for veriﬁcation of the power handling capabilities. Because the variation of the input impedance is not a standard method to deﬁne linearity. OCTOBER 2011
Fig. the FET in the compensating network is ZVN3306F by Zetex. for this solution. 7.650
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS—II: EXPRESS BRIEFS. where Leq = 10 nH. 10. for relatively high input signal power. This piece of information is usually missing in the literature when the performances of active ﬁlters are presented. and noise behavior of the proposed topology. (a) Complex input impedance of the AI.
The ﬁrst-order band-pass ﬁlter [see Fig. the 1-dB compression point and NF of a band-pass ﬁlter.
Fig.1-dB insertion loss at 600 MHz due to the high-Q AI (given by the almost zero series resistance). 7(a)] has been changed. has been investigated by measuring the reﬂection coefﬁcient at the input port for increasing input power. BAND -PASS F ILTER I MPLEMENTATION As an example of application. As shown. the AI has been set to have minimum losses at 1 GHz. In other words. NO. 9. In Fig.5 and 1. we think that AIs should always be unconditionally
. this is usually obtained by the use of negative series resistance with high risk of practical instability and therefore of oscillation. inductor losses tend to increase with increasing signal power.3 GHz. (a) AI-based ﬁrst-order band-pass ﬁlter.
Fig. the proposed AI design technique has been applied to the implementation of a ﬁrst-order band-pass ﬁlter. has been veriﬁed from 500 MHz to 1. The real part is positive everywhere and almost zero (Req = 0. its behavior. moreover. 5. 8. 7(b)]. whereas Fig. VOL.1 GHz. the measured large-signal reﬂection coefﬁcient is shown at ﬁve power levels (from 15 to 5 dBm in 5-dBm steps). The variable compensating elements have been set to two different values.3 GHz. AI tunability. extensions to high order ﬁlters are straightforward. The circuit has been fabricated on a microstrip using standard SMD passive components and two BFR92A bipolar transistors in an SOT23 plastic package [see Fig. (b) Photo of the fabricated AI-based band-pass ﬁlter. we demonstrate the high-Q AI (not the ﬁlter Q) and AI power handling capabilities using a low-order ﬁlter. In Fig. which is typical for a ﬁrst-order passive band-pass ﬁlter. The linearity of the proposed AI. Two constant Q ﬁlter tuning states achieved by varying the AI compensating network components and resonator capacitance. The behavior is inductive up to approximately 1.
Simulated and measured S-parameters of the band-pass ﬁlter. in order to achieve the same Q for the ﬁlter in the two states (deﬁned as the ratio between the ﬁlter center frequency and the 3-dB bandwidth). several ﬁrst-order LC ﬁlters based on AIs with very narrow 3-dB bandwidth have been presented in the past. with capacitance C and the proposed grounded AI. however. In the literature. 6(b).1 Ω) at the desired frequency of 900 MHz.
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