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South Korean researcher develops wideband ring VCO

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VCO? impulse radio-ultra-wideband? IR-UWB? Doppler radar system?

A Korean undergraduate student from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has created a wideband ring voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), which is a key component of an impulse radio ultra-wideband (IR-UWB) radar system. Wideband VCO is a key component of an IR-UWB system that presents itself as a practical technology for a Doppler radar system, which can detect human vital signs such as heart beats and respiration.

The IR-UWB's large signal bandwidth can yield an increased time resolution and its wide range of frequency bands is desirable because an optimal band can be selectively used to maximise detection accuracy.

With the VCO designed by the UNIST research team led by Jaehyouk Choi, professor at the university, and proposed by a UNIST undergraduate student, Seyeon Yoo, an operating frequency band is digitally set using a digital-to-analogue convert (DAC) in the supply-voltage regulator.

Once a band is selected, the specific target-frequency is analogously tuned, controlling the strength of latches in delay cells. Furthermore, by storing the latches in each cell, the KVCO becomes scalable.

Ultimately, throughout the entire 2-8GHz frequency band, the KVCO can be constantly maintained, which helps ensure the stable operation of the phase-locked loop (PLL).

"This technology will be applicable for IR-UWB based Doppler radar systems and various radio frequency (RF) semiconductor applications since it provides stable wideband frequency," noted Choi.

He also specially praised Yoo: "Developing an analogue/RF IC chip requires extensive knowledge and know-how on IC designs. As an undergraduate student, developing a new IC and publishing a research paper in a leading science journal is a remarkable performance."

This research work was supported by a grant from the Ulsan Technopark, Korea.

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