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CMOS High Frequency Circuits for Spin Torque Oscillator Technology
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Integrated Devices and Circuits.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1686-7923
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Spin torque oscillator (STO) technology has a unique blend of features, including but not limited to octave tunability, GHz operating frequency, and nanoscaled size, which makes it highly suitable for microwave and radar applications. This thesis studies the fundamentals of STOs, utilizes the state-of-art STO's advantages, and proposes two STO-based microwave systems targeting its microwave applications and measurement setup, respectively.

First, based on an investigation of possible STO applications, the magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) STO shows a great suitability for microwave oscillator in multi-standard multi-band radios. Yet, it also imposes a large challenge due to its low output power, which limits it from being used as a microwave oscillator. In this regard, different power enhancement approaches are investigated to achieve an MTJ STO-based microwave oscillator. The only possible approach is to use a dedicated CMOS wideband amplifier to boost the output power of the MTJ STO. The dedicated wideband amplifier, containing a novel Balun-LNA, an amplification stage and an output buffer, is proposed, analyzed, implemented, measured and used to achieve the MTJ STO-based microwave oscillator. The proposed amplifier core consumes 25.44 mW from a 1.2 V power supply and occupies an area of 0.16 mm2 in a 65 nm CMOS process. The measurement results show a S21 of 35 dB, maximum NF of 5 dB, bandwidth of 2 GHz - 7 GHz. This performance, as well as the measurement results of the proposed MTJ STO-based microwave oscillator, show that this microwave oscillator has a highly-tunable range and is able to drive a PLL.

The second aspect of this thesis, firstly identifies the major difficulties in measuring the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) STO, and hence studying its dynamic properties. Thereafter, the system architecture of a reliable GMR STO measurement setup, which integrates the GMR STO with a dedicated CMOS high frequency IC to overcome these difficulties in precise characterization of GMR STOs, is proposed. An analysis of integration methods is given and the integration method based on wire bonding is evaluated and employed, as a first integration attempt of STO and CMOS technologies. Moreover, a dedicated high frequency CMOS IC, which is composed of a dedicated on-chip bias-tee, ESD diodes, input and output networks, and an amplification stage for amplifying the weak signal generated by the GMR STO, is proposed, analyzed, developed, implemented and measured. The proposed dedicated high frequency circuits for GMR STO consumes 14.3 mW from a 1.2 V power supply and takes a total area of 0.329 mm2 in a 65 nm CMOS process. The proposed on-chip bias-tee presents a maximum measured S12 of -20 dB and a current handling of about 25 mA. Additionally, the proposed dedicated IC gives a measured gain of 13 dB with a bandwidth of 12.5 GHz - 14.5 GHz. The first attempt to measure the (GMR STO+IC) pair presents no RF signal at the output. The possible cause and other identified issues are given.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , xiii, 84 p.
TRITA-ICT/MAP AVH, ISSN 1653-7610 ; 2014:01
Keyword [en]
microwave integrated circuit, CMOS, spin torque oscillator, Balun-LNA, wideband amplifier, on-chip bias-tee, multi-standard multi-band radios
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-139588ISBN: 978-91-7501-972-7OAI: diva2:687795
2014-01-30, Sal/Hall E, Forum, KTH-ICT, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)

QC 20140114

Available from: 2014-01-15 Created: 2014-01-15 Last updated: 2014-01-15Bibliographically approved

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