Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Syed K. Islam

Committee Members

Benjamin J. Blalock, M. Nance Ericson


The demand for low power, low cost, and low noise RF sub-systems has lead to the development of completely integrated transceivers. Frequency synthesizers containing a PLL and a crystal oscillator are perhaps the most challenging part of a transceiver’s design. One of its nosiest, most power consuming components, the VCO, often makes the PLL a challenging design. For an LC-VCO, the best type of VCO for quality noise performance, the struggle lies in the fully integrated inductor. Despite the vast improvement in additional facets of the LC-VCO, the integrated inductor lags in its accomplishments; and the focus of designers is to work around the inductor’s low quality factor. This research analyzes the LC-VCO and different means of compensating for design parameters hindered by a low-quality integrated inductor. It tests an LC-VCO developed in a 0.35 μm CMOS, 3.3V process and also designs an LC-VCO in a 0.18 μm CMOS, 1.8V process. The VCO design has a center frequency of 2.4 GHz. Also, its components and topology are scrutinized, while its performance is analyzed and verified through simulation results.

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