Infoscience

Thesis

CMOS ASIC Design of Multi-frequency Multi-constellation GNSS Front-ends

With the emergence of the new global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) such as Galileo, COMPASS and GLONASS, the US Global Positioning System (GPS) has new competitors. This multiplicity of constellations will offer new services and a much better satellite coverage. Public regulated service (PRS) is one of these new services that Galileo, the first global positioning service under civilian control, will offers. The PRS is a proprietary encrypted navigation designed to be more reliable and robust against jamming and provides premium quality in terms of position and timing and continuity of service, but it requires the use of FEs with extended capabilities. The project that this thesis starts from, aims to develop a dual frequency (E1 and E6) PRS receiver with a focus on a solution for professional applications that combines affordability and robustness. To limit the production cost, the choice of a monolithic design in a multi-purpose 0.18 µm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology have been selected, and to reduce the susceptibility to interference, the targeted receiver is composed of two independent FEs. The first ASIC described here is such FEs bundle. Each FE is composed of a radio frequency (RF) chain that includes a low-noise amplifier (LNA), a quadrature mixer, a frequency synthesizer (FS), two intermediate frequency (IF) filters, two variable-gain amplifiers (VGAs) and two 6-bit flash analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). Each have an IF bandwidth of 50 MHz to accommodate the wide-band PRS signals. The FE achieves a 30 dB of dynamic gain control at each channel. The complete receivers occupies a die area of 11.5 mm2 while consuming 115 mW from a supply of a 1.8 V. The second ASIC that targets civilian applications, is a reconfigurable single-channel FE that permits to exploit the interoperability among GNSSs. The FE can operate in two modes: a ¿narrow-band mode¿, dedicated to Beidou-B1 with an IF bandwidth of 8 MHz, and a ¿wide-band mode¿ with an IF bandwidth of 23 MHz, which can accommodate simultaneous reception of Beidou-B1/GPS-L1/Galileo-E1. These two modes consumes respectively 22.85 mA and 28.45 mA from a 1.8 V supply. Developed with the best linearity in mind, the FE shows very good linearity with an input-referred 1 dB compression point (IP1dB) of better than -27.6 dBm. The FE gain is stepwise flexible from 39 dB and to a maximum of 58 dB. The complete FE occupies a die area of only 2.6 mm2 in a 0.18 µm CMOS. To also accommodate the wide-band PRS signals in the IF section of the FE, a highly selective wide-tuning-range 4th-order Gm-C elliptic low-pass filter is used. It features an innovative continuous tuning circuit that adjusts the bias current of the Gm cell¿s input stage to control the cutoff frequency. With this circuit, the power consumption is proportional to the cutoff frequency thus the power efficiency is achieved while keeping the linearity near constant. Thanks to a Gm switching technique, which permit to keep the signal path switchless, the filter shows an extended tuning of the cutoff frequency that covers continuously a range from 7.4 MHz to 27.4 MHz. Moreover the abrupt roll-off of up to 66 dB/octave, can mitigate out-of-band interference. The filter consumes 2.1 mA and 7.5 mA at its lowest and highest cutoff frequencies respectively, and its active area occupies, 0.23 mm2. It achieves a high input-referred third-order intercept point (IIP3) of up to -1.3 dBVRMS.

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