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Active and Passive Electronic Components
Volume 2014, Article ID 434189, 7 pages
Research Article

Design of a 2 GHz Linear-in-dB Variable-Gain Amplifier with 80-dB Gain Range

Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China

Received 11 January 2014; Revised 21 March 2014; Accepted 31 March 2014; Published 17 April 2014

Academic Editor: Egidio Ragonese

Copyright © 2014 Zhengyu Sun and Yuepeng Yan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A broadband linear-in-dB variable-gain amplifier (VGA) circuit is implemented in 0.18 μm SiGe BiCMOS process. The VGA comprises two cascaded variable-gain core, in which a hybrid current-steering current gain cell is inserted in the Cherry-Hooper amplifier to maintain a broad bandwidth while covering a wide gain range. Postlayout simulation results confirm that the proposed circuit achieves a 2 GHz 3-dB bandwidth with wide linear-in-dB gain tuning range from −19 dB up to 61 dB. The amplifier offers a competitive gain bandwidth product of 2805 GHz at the maximum gain for a 110-GHz ft BiCMOS technology. The amplifier core consumes 31 mW from a 3.3 V supply and occupies active area of 280 μm by 140 μm.