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This paper reports on the first demonstration of a 1.05-GHz microelectromechanical (MEMS) oscillator based on lateral-field-excited (LFE) piezoelectric AlN contour-mode resonators. The oscillator shows a phase noise level of −81 dBc/Hz at 1-kHz offset frequency and a phase noise floor of −146 dBc/Hz, which satisfies the global system for mobile communications (GSM) requirements for ultra-high frequency (UHF) local oscillators (LO). The circuit was fabricated in the AMI semiconductor (AMIS) 0.5-μm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process, with the oscillator core consuming only 3.5 mW DC power. The device overall performance has the best figure-of-merit (FoM) when compared with other gigahertz oscillators that are based on film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR), surface acoustic wave (SAW), and CMOS on-chip inductor and capacitor (CMOS LC) technologies. A simple 2-mask process was used to fabricate the LFE AlN resonators operating between 843 MHz and 1.64 GHz with simultaneously high Q (up to 2,200) and kt2 (up to 1.2%). This process further relaxes manufacturing tolerances and improves yield. All these advantages make these devices suitable for post-CMOS integrated on-chip direct gigahertz frequency synthesis in reconfigurable multiband wireless communications.
Date Posted: 13 July 2010