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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-04222009-162105

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
email address
Thesis title
RF-CMOS Design of System-on-Chip Microwave Radiometer
Academic discipline
Course of study
Relatore Dott. Zito, Domenico
Relatore Prof. Neri, Bruno
  • CMOS
  • radiometer
  • RFIC
  • SoC
  • system-on-chip
Graduation session start date
Release date
In the last few years, due to the impressive advance in silicon process optimization, the system-on-chip integration became much more than a wishful thinking, and most of all it was not only related directly with the data communications but open to many fields of application, from environmental remote sensing to vital-signs contact-less monitoring, from security and antiintrusion imaging systems to collision-avoidance vehicular radar, but to name ones, in which the miniaturization (e.g. wearable electronics, device array, et al.) is expected to provide a new “revolution” of the wireless technology, even larger that the previous one. In the framework of the ongoing trend, well-known system implemented traditionally carried out by using hybrid technologies (i.e. bulky and expensive) has new interesting perspectives ever had earlier. In spite of the difference among the possible applications, all of them can be grouped under the same new discipline, named herein as advanced radio-frequency engineering. In this framework, this work of thesis focuses on the opportunity of exploiting the latest advanced in silicon technology for the implementation of innovative system-on-chip microwave radiometer for the temperature remote sensing and, in particular, to its application to the fire detection. This sensor, due to low power consumption, low weight and low cost, can be successfully used for example to detect a forest fire in its early stage or even to assist the emergency operators in their work, for instance by detecting a fire behind a door or a wall. The most relevant results of the research in these topics are reported, approaching comprehensively for the feasibility study, the design, and the characterization. A low-cost low-power fully-integrated 13-GHz microwave radiometer on silicon has been designed in the 90-nm RF-CMOS process by ST-Microelectronics. In particular, the design of the low noise amplifier, the boot-strapped inductor (the key circuit for the implementation of the low-insertion-loss antenna switch and a low-phase-noise local oscillator), and the voltage controlled oscillator, that are the critical building blocks, are presented.