Millimeter-wave (mm-wave) on-chip radar and communication systems are elevating our society onto a new intelligence level by enabling robust machinery sensing and enhancing social connections. The wide frequency bandwidth available at mm-wave regime nourishes high data-rate communications at (beyond) 5G, and promotes the fine-resolution radars in emerging applications like automotive driving assistance, vital signs monitoring, gesture recognition, etc. The fulfillment of these visions demands for technology advancements in mm-wave integrated circuits and systems.
Starting from the integrated radar systems, this talk will analyze the performance requirements and challenges that are posed on the mm-wave transceiver design. I will present a new architecture for mm-wave phase-locked loops (PLLs) that suits such applications. By introducing the concept of implicit frequency multiplication, phase noise and power efficiency is substantially improved. The advantages will be examined by a digital PLL that employs the new architecture. Furthermore, we will discuss approaches to minimize the phase noise towards thermal noise limitation. They include flicker noise reduction in mm-wave oscillators and fine-resolution digital-to-time converters for phase detection in PLLs. Moving to the transceiver frontend, I will present a wideband mm-wave power amplifier with stability enhancement. Finally, I will show a supply-resilient oscillator design that can be directly supplied by power management circuits without any voltage regulator for energy-efficient wireless sensor networks.