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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

January 2008

Month Degree Awarded



Coupled Phase Locked Loops, Phase Frequency Detectors, Charge Pump, Voltage Conreolled Oscillators


Phase Synthesis is a fundamental operation in Smart Antennas and other Phased Array systems based on beamforming. There are increasing commercial applications for Integrated Phased Arrays due to their low cost, size and power and also because the RF and digital signal processing can be performed on the same chip. These low cost beamforming applications have augmented interest in Coupled Phase Locked Loop (CPLL) systems for Phase Synthesis.

Previous work on the implementation of Phase Synthesis systems using Coupled PLLs for low cost beamforming had the constraint of a limited phase range of ±90°. The idea behind the thesis is that this phase synthesis range can be increased to ±180° through the use of PLLs employing Phase Frequency Detectors(PFDs), which is a significant improvement over conventional coupled-PLL systems.

This work presents the detailed design and measurement results for a phase synthesizer using Coupled PLLs for achieving phase shift in the range of ±180°. Several Coupled PLL architectures are investigated and their advantages and limitations are evaluated in terms of frequency controllability, phase difference synthesis control and phase noise of the systems. A two-PLL system implementation using off the shelf components is presented, which generates a steady-state phase difference in the range ±180° using an adjustable DC control current. This is the proof of concept for doing an IC design for a Coupled Phase Locked Loop system. Commercial applications in the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) band motivate the design of a CPLL system in the 608-614 MHz band. The design methodology is presented which shows the flowchart of the IC design process from the system design specifications to the transistor level design. MATLAB simulations are presented to model the system performance quickly. VerilogA modeling of the CPLL system is performed followed by the IC design of the system and each block is simulated under different process and temperature corners. The transistor level design is then evaluated for its performance in terms of phase difference synthesis and phase noise and compared with the initial MATLAB analysis and improved iteratively. The CPLL system is implemented in IBM 130nm CMOS process and consumes 40mW of power from a 1.2V supply with a phase noise performance of -88 dBc/Hz for 177° phase generation.


First Advisor

Omid Oliaei