Analysis & design of interference-robust mixer-first receiver architectures for UWB

Student project at imec (Thesis)

Have you ever wondered which technology enables a secure and hands-free access to your car based on your location? Have you ever wondered whether you could build your own high speed communication link between two close-by (meter range) devices without depending on WiFi or Internet? The UWB technology enabling these exotic applications has operating frequency ranging 3.1-to-10.6GHz according to FCC. One of the main challenges to operate in this frequency range is to withstand other blockers that also operate in this frequency range such as WiFi, 5G, etc. 

When it comes to withstanding to the blockers, mixer-first receivers offer significant advantages compared to for example, LNA-first receivers. Few of them include: the possibility to filter blockers strongly before they compress any active circuits, ease of tuning the center frequency of these filters, low power architectures, etc. Nevertheless, these advantages of mixer-first receivers still need to be explored for UWB applications. Note that most of the existing mixer-first receivers are designed for much lower IF bandwidth (~20MHz) compared to the IF bandwidth of a UWB channel (250MHz). 

What will you be doing?

  • Defining the blocker scenario and deriving linearity specifications for that.

  • Exploring the mixer-first architectures to achieve these specs.

  • Evaluating the effect of mixer-first architecture on other important specs of UWB application.

  • Circuit and system level innovations to solve the challenges from the above study.

  • Proposing a mixer-first architecture and calculating block level specifications.

  • Designing this mixer-first architecture in an advanced technology node.

  • Extensive simulation, verification, layout.

  • Good and timely progress will lead to fabrication of a chip and subsequent publication. 

What we do for you

You will be part of the team specialized in RF and analog circuits and system focusing on UWB applications. You will have the opportunity to not only utilize your previous knowledge but also learn from the interaction with the colleagues from the diverse background. Furthermore, the internship at imec provides an experience that is a blend of industry and academia, which prepares you well for the future. 


Who you are
  • Motivated in RF circuit and systems.

  • Available for 12 months.

  • Have deep understanding in basic circuit concepts such as gain, bandwidth, NF, IIP3/IIP2, matching, feedback, and stability.

  • Have good understanding in basic circuits such as RLC filters, LNA, mixer, OpAmp, and oscillators.

  • Have good circuit intuitions and ability to innovate.

  • An earlier exposure to a good circuit design, verification, and layout in Cadence or equivalent tools is a plus.

  • Self motivated student eager to work independently, expand knowledge in the field and able to plan and execute the project well.

  • Good written and verbal English skills.


Click on 'apply here' to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting.