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This paper presents the design of an impulse radio ultra-wideband (IR-UWB) transmitter for low-power, short-range, and high-data rate applications such as high density neural recording interfaces. The IR-UWB transmitter pulses are generated by modulating the output of a local oscillator. The large area requirement of the spiral inductor in a conventional on-chip LC tank is overcome by replacing it with an active inductor topology. The circuit has been fabricated in a UMC CMOS 180 nm technology, with a die area of 0.012 mm2. The temporal width of the output waveform is determined by a pulse generator based on logic gates. The measured pulse is compliant with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) power spectral density limits and within the frequency band of 3-6 GHz. For the minimum pulse duration of 1 ns, the energy consumption of the design is 20 pJ per bit, while transmitting at a 200 Mbps data rate with an amplitude of 130 mV.