Systematic Comparison of HF CMOS Transconductors

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)
    67 Downloads (Pure)


    Transconductors are commonly used as active elements in high-frequency (HF) filters, amplifiers, mixers, and oscillators. This paper reviews transconductor design by focusing on the V-I kernel that determines the key transconductor properties. Based on bandwidth considerations, simple V-I kernels with few or no internal nodes are preferred. In a systematic way, virtually all simple kernels published in literature are generated. This is done in two steps: 1) basic 3-terminal transconductors are covered and 2) then five different techniques to combine two of them in a composite V-I kernel. In order to compare transconductors in a fair way, a normalized signal-to-noise ratio (NSNR) is defined. The basic V-I kernels and the five classes of composite V-I kernels are then compared, leading to insight in the key mechanisms that affect NSNR. Symbolic equations are derived to estimate NSNR, while simulations with more advanced MOSFET models verify the results. The results show a strong tradeoff between NSNR and transconductance tuning range. Resistively generated MOSFETs render the best NSNR results and are robust for future technology developments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)728-741
    Number of pages14
    JournalIEEE transactions on circuits and systems II: analog and digital signal processing
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


    • - filter
    • Figure of merit
    • Noise
    • V-I converter
    • Signal to noise ratio
    • transconductor
    • IR-45703
    • tunable filter
    • linearization
    • variable gain
    • EWI-14431
    • voltage to current converter
    • METIS-212942
    • transconductor-C filter


    Dive into the research topics of 'Systematic Comparison of HF CMOS Transconductors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this