2014 Volume E97.C Issue 6 Pages 486-494
In this paper, we present a differential dual-modulus prescaler based on an injection-locked frequency divider (ILFD) for satellite low-noise block (LNB) down-converters. We fabricated three-stage differential latches using an ILFD and a cascaded differential divider in a 130-nm CMOS process. The prototype chip core area occupies 40µm × 20µm. The proposed prescaler achieved the locking range of 2.1-10GHz with both divide-by-10 and divide-by-11 operations at a supply voltage of 1.4V. Normalized energy consumptions are 0.4pJ (=mW/GHz) at a 1.4-V supply voltage and 0.24pJ at a 1.2-V supply voltage. To evaluate the tolerance of phase-difference deviation of the input differential pair from the perfect differential phase-difference, 180 degrees, we measured the operational frequencies for various phase-difference inputs. The proposed prescaler achieved the operational frequency range of 2.1-10GHz with an input phase-difference deviation of less than 90 degrees. However, the range of operational frequency decreases as the phase-difference deviation increases beyond 90 degrees and reaches 3.9-7.9GHz for the phase-difference deviation of 180 degrees (i.e. no phase difference). In addition, to confirm the fully locking operation, we measured the spurious noise and the phase noise degradation while reducing the supply voltage. The sensitivity analysis of the prescaler for various supply voltages can explain the above degradation of spectral purity. Spurious noise arises and the phase noise degrades with decreasing supply voltage due to the quasi- and non-locking operations. We verified the fully-locking operation for the LNB down-converter at a 1.4-V supply voltage.