Open Access

Parametric Conversion Using Custom MOS Varactors

  • Howard Chan1,
  • Zhongbo Chen1,
  • Sebastian Magierowski1Email author and
  • Krzysztof (Kris) Iniewski2
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20062006:012945

Received: 14 October 2005

Accepted: 18 April 2006

Published: 20 June 2006


The possible role of customized MOS varactors in amplification, mixing, and frequency control of future millimeter wave CMOS RFICs is outlined. First, the parametric conversion concept is revisited and discussed in terms of modern RF communications systems. Second, the modeling, design, and optimization of MOS varactors are reconsidered in the context of their central role in parametric circuits. Third, a balanced varactor structure is proposed for robust oscillator frequency control in the presence of large extrinsic noise expected in tightly integrated wireless communicators. Main points include the proposal of a subharmonic pumping scheme based on the MOS varactor, a nonequilibrium elastance-voltage model, optimal varactor layout suggestions, custom m-CMOS varactor design and measurement, device-level balanced varactor simulations, and parametric circuit evaluation based on measured device characteristics.


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta


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© Howard Chan et al. 2006

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.