Spectral Purification Techniques for Clock Generation Circuits

Yi-An Li

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2022-238
December 1, 2022

http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2022/EECS-2022-238.pdf

Clock generation circuits are essential building blocks that need to provide precision timing and frequency references for the whole system. Spur and phase noise are two of the most critical impairments of clock spectral purity that ultimately limit the performance of a communication system such as spectral emission, error-vector-magnitude (EVM) for transmitters and the blocker tolerance for receivers. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to develop a post-processing module cascaded after the clock source and perform the spectral purification to recover and even boost the performance. Two techniques for spur and phase noise cancellation have been proposed. With analog- signal-processing by delay lines we can synthesis the desired shape of the transfer function for spectral filtering, such as notches to reject far-out spurs, and high-pass filtering to suppress close-in phase noise. A fully integrated design achieves a measured spur cancellation of 15dB at 250MHz and 750MHz offset as well as phase noise cancellation from 4MHz to 200MHz offset with maximum 25-dB cancellation depth for a 1-GHz clock. The proposed ideas have been verified through a fabricated 65-nm CMOS prototype with power consumption of 11mW from a supply voltage of 1.2V. Furthermore, we will demonstrate a novel clock multiplier architecture that achieves low jitter and also insensitive to frequency drift without a continuous frequency tracking loop (FTL). With the proposed digital spur calibration techniques, the spurs can be effec- tively suppressed down to −50.9dBc. Fabricated in 28-nm CMOS technology, this prototype presents an integrated jitter of 138fsrms while consuming only 6.5mW from a 1-V/0.8-V supplies and achieving −249dB FoM. A detailed study on the mechanisms of jitter perfor- mance affected by frequency drift is included, which provides a theoretical justification to the approach. Also, the time domain/frequency domain analysis on digital spur calibra- tion are discussed as well. Finally, an improved version with lower power consumption and generalized multiplication ratio is also realized in a test chip in 28-nm CMOS technology.

Advisor: Ali Niknejad


BibTeX citation:

@phdthesis{Li:EECS-2022-238,
    Author = {Li, Yi-An},
    Title = {Spectral Purification Techniques for Clock Generation Circuits},
    School = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2022},
    Month = {Dec},
    URL = {http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2022/EECS-2022-238.html},
    Number = {UCB/EECS-2022-238},
    Abstract = {Clock generation circuits are essential building blocks that need to provide precision timing and frequency references for the whole system. Spur and phase noise are two of the most critical impairments of clock spectral purity that ultimately limit the performance of a communication system such as spectral emission, error-vector-magnitude (EVM) for transmitters and the blocker tolerance for receivers. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to develop a post-processing module cascaded after the clock source and perform the spectral purification to recover and even boost the performance.
Two techniques for spur and phase noise cancellation have been proposed. With analog- signal-processing by delay lines we can synthesis the desired shape of the transfer function for spectral filtering, such as notches to reject far-out spurs, and high-pass filtering to suppress close-in phase noise. A fully integrated design achieves a measured spur cancellation of 15dB at 250MHz and 750MHz offset as well as phase noise cancellation from 4MHz to 200MHz offset with maximum 25-dB cancellation depth for a 1-GHz clock. The proposed ideas have been verified through a fabricated 65-nm CMOS prototype with power consumption of 11mW from a supply voltage of 1.2V.
Furthermore, we will demonstrate a novel clock multiplier architecture that achieves low jitter and also insensitive to frequency drift without a continuous frequency tracking loop (FTL). With the proposed digital spur calibration techniques, the spurs can be effec- tively suppressed down to −50.9dBc. Fabricated in 28-nm CMOS technology, this prototype presents an integrated jitter of 138fsrms while consuming only 6.5mW from a 1-V/0.8-V supplies and achieving −249dB FoM. A detailed study on the mechanisms of jitter perfor- mance affected by frequency drift is included, which provides a theoretical justification to the approach. Also, the time domain/frequency domain analysis on digital spur calibra- tion are discussed as well. Finally, an improved version with lower power consumption and generalized multiplication ratio is also realized in a test chip in 28-nm CMOS technology.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Thesis
%A Li, Yi-An
%T Spectral Purification Techniques for Clock Generation Circuits
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2022
%8 December 1
%@ UCB/EECS-2022-238
%U http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2022/EECS-2022-238.html
%F Li:EECS-2022-238