High Dynamic-Range Passive Mixers for Flexible mm-Wave Communications

Passive CMOS mixers, especially N-path mixers, have become a dominant circuit topology in the sub-6GHz regime. These mixers rely on non-overlapping multi-phase LO waveforms to achieve low loss while at the same time achieving excellent out-of-band linearity, and wide tunability. These techniques, however, do not scale easily to higher frequencies. Here I will discuss these frequency limitations, and present recently developed techniques for overcoming many of these limitations without consuming excessive power. These include both techniques in LO generation and core mixer topologies, as well as associated theory to guide optimization of these circuits. Finally I will discuss unresolved limitations associated with such circuits, and possible architectural approaches to overcoming these limitations.