This paper presents a fast procedure for the system-level evaluation of noise and distortion in continuous-time integrated filters. The presented approach is based on Volterra’s series theory and matrix algebra manipulation. This procedure has been integrated in a constrained optimization routine to improve the dynamic range of the filter while keeping the area and power consumption at a minimum.
The proposed approach is demonstrated with the design, from system- to physical-level, of a seventh-order low-pass continuous-time elliptic filter for a high-performance broadband power-line communication receiver. The filter shows a nominal cut-off frequency of ƒc=34MHz, less than 1dB ripple in the pass-band, and a maximum stop-band rejection of 65dB. Additionally, the filter features 12dB programmable boost in the pass-band to counteract high frequency components attenuation. Taking into account its wideband transfer characteristic, the filter has been implemented using Gm-C techniques. The basic building block of its structure, the transconductor, uses a source degeneration topology with local feedback for linearity improving and shows a worst-case intermodulation distortion of -70 dB for two tones close to the passband edge, separated by 1MHz, with 70mV of amplitude.
The filter combines very low noise (peak root spectral noise density below 56nV/√Hz) and high linearity (more than 64dB of MTPR for a DMT signal of 0.5Vpp amplitude) properties. The filter has been designed in a 0.18μm CMOS technology and it is compliant with industrial operation conditions (-40 to 85°C temperature variation and ±5% power supply deviation). The filter occupies 13mm2 and exhibits a typical power consumption of 450 mW from a 1.8V voltage supply.