N. Markulić, K. Raczkowski, E. Martens
Oct 5, 2016
IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
We present an analog subsampling PLL based on a digital-to-time converter (DTC), which operates with almost no performance gap (176/198 fs RMS jitter) between the integer and the worst case fractional operation, achieving -246.6 dB FOM in the worst case fractional mode. The PLL is capable of two-point, 10 Mbit/s GMSK modulation with -40.5 dB EVM around a 10.24 GHz fractional carrier. The analog nonidealities-DTC gain, DTC nonlinearity, modulating VCO bank gain, and nonlinearity-are calibrated in the background while the system operates normally. This results in ~15 dB fractional spur improvement (from -41 dBc to -56.5 dBc) during synthesis and ~15 dB EVM improvement (from -25 dB to -40.5 dB) during modulation. The paper provides an overview of the mechanisms that contribute to performance degradation in DTC-based PLL/phase modulators and presents ways to mitigate them. We demonstrate state-of-the-art performance in nanoscale CMOS for fractional-N synthesis and phase modulation.