DCO design with flicker-noise and supply noise suppression

At imec, Perceptive Systems

This project aims at state-of-the-art oscillator design, for Internet-of-things applications. The goal is to improve the supply noise rejection in the oscillator, by using digital calibration and other innovative techniques.


Project Description

The goal of this project is to design a radio frequency oscillator, which is able to work in the free-running mode for duty cycled radios used in IoT applications. Two design aspects need to be covered in this project:


1, phase noise optimization, especially low frequency noise and supply noise rejection, by using innovative techniques, calibrations or etc

2, Built-in-self-test (BIST) for oscillators to optimize the overall performance. Such BIST needs to be investigated and extended to other blocks.


The generation of the LO (Local Oscillator) signal remains as one of the most challenging and conventional topic in the RF transceiver design. The performance and the choice of the oscillator dominates the transceiver performance in many aspects, such as TX output signal quality, RX sensitivity and interference rejection.


Recent years has seen a rise of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), which added another dimension of requirement on the RF oscillator design, regarding low power, small form factor, more autonomous calibration and etc. One major feature of the IoT related radios is the duty-cycled working mode, meaning circuits in such radio works actively for a period of time, and is switched off for the rest of the time. Duty-cycle ratio varies largely, depends on the application case, helps to average down the power consumption and change the design aspect of circuit blocks such as oscillators.  This project aims at a more efficient oscillator design, especially for such kind of duty-cycled IoT radios.


Your Tasks

  • Literature survey on current oscillator design;
  • Phase noise analysis of oscillator;
  • Oscillator schematic design and layout;
  • PCB design for measurement setup;
  • Measurement, if possible.


Your Profile

  • Analog circuit design;
  • Cadence tool;
  • Digital circuit basic;
  • Python scripting;
  • Motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field;
  • Good written and verbal English skills.


For all inquiries, please contact:

Ms Najat Loiazizi, HR specialist.

Telephone number: +31 (0)40 40 20 675


Apply now