High-sensitivity CMOS super-regenerative receiver with quench-controlled high-Q metamaterial resonator for millimeter-wave imaging at 96 and 135 GHz

Yang Shang, Hao Yu, Sanming Hu, Yuan Liang, Xiaojun Bi, Muthukumaraswamy Annamalai Arasu

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High-sensitivity super-regenerative receivers (SRXs) are demonstrated at 96 and 135 GHz, respectively, in this paper. They are based on high-Q quench-controlled metamaterial resonators with a differential transmission line loaded with a split-ring resonator (DTL-SRR) and a differential transmission line loaded with a complementary split-ring resonator (DTL-CSRR) in 65-nm CMOS. High-Q oscillatory amplifications are established by the sharp stopband introduced by metamaterial resonators. As such, high detection sensitivity is achieved for SRXs at millimeter-wave regions. The fabricated 96-GHz DTL-CSRR-based SRX has a compact core chip area of 0.014 mm(2) with measured power consumption of 2.8 mW, sensitivity of -79 dBm, noise figure (NF) of 8.5 dB, and noise equivalent power (NEP) of 0.67 fW/root Hz. The fabricated 135-GHz DTL-SRR-based SRX has a compact core chip area of 0.0085 mm(2) with measured power consumption of 6.2 mW, sensitivity of -76.8 dBm, NF of 9.7 dB, and NEP of 0.9 fW/root Hz. Compared to the conventional SRX with an LC-tank-based resonator at similar frequencies, the proposed SRXs have 2.8 similar to 4 dB sensitivity improvement and 60% smaller area. The integrated SRXs are also demonstrated for the imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3095-3106
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Imaging
  • metamaterial resonator
  • 65-nm CMOS
  • super-regenerative receiver (SRX)
  • 65-NM CMOS

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