X-band frequencies (8 - 12 GHz) are used for space and satellite communication both in civil and military applications. Traditionally, discrete microwave integrated circuits implemented in III−V technologies have been combined and used for these applications due to their performance advantages over Si technologies -. Unfortunately, such transceiver modules are typically power hungry, large, heavy and hence costly , . SiGe HBT technology, being inherently tolerant to TID, good integration capabilities, medium cost and superior performance over Si technology has big advantage for space and satellite communication application. As mostly demanded, a phased locked loop (PLL) chip and a transceiver chip are designed and tested under radiation. The chip details are presented in the following sections.
II. PHASE LOCKED LOOP
Figure 1 shows the block diagram of the fabricated PLL. The VCO is a differential cross-coupled type using bipolar transistors. The PLL circuit utilizes two tuning loops. The phase frequency detector (PFD) and charge pumps are designed with CMOS transistors. Chip area is 1.22 mmx0.81 mm.
Figure 1: Block diagram of PLL chip
Table 1: PLL chip performance
VCO tuning range
8 – 11.8 GHz
7.85 – 11.9 GHz
PLL locking range
8.192 – 10.56 GHz
8 – 10.7 GHz
-3 – +4 dBm
8 – 11 dBm
Figure 2 shows the transceiver block diagram. It contains voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), power splitter, power amplifier (PA), poly-phase filter (PPF), low-noise amplifier (LAN), quadrature mixer. Built-in system test (BIST) structure is included to test the circuit functionality without antenna and high frequency equipment. Chip area is 1.84 mm x 1.1 mm.
Figure 2: Block diagram of transceiver chip
Table 2: Transceiver chip performance
VCO tuning range
10.6 – 12.5 GHz
10.1 – 12.0 GHz
8 – 10 dBm
10 – 12 dBm
IV. TEST UNDER IRRADIATION
The realized chips are tested under Total Dose Ionization (TID) and heavy ion irradiation. TID tests have been performed at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany up to 300 krad. The chips were radiated by Gamma ray from Co60 source. Electrical measurements have been performed after accumulated dose of 25 krad, 75 krad, 150 krad, 230 krad and 300 krad. Finally, after annealing of 24 hours at 25°C and annealing of 168 hours at 100 °C. No noticiable deviation in electrical performance (current, oscillation frequency, receiver gain) have been observed in the test results.
Heavy Ion tests including single event latch-up (SEL) and single event upset (SEU) tests are planned in February 2018.
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