Prof. Pui-In Mak, Research Line Coordinator

This research line focuses on RF and mmWave ICs for a wide variety of applications, including but not limited to, 3G/4G/5G multi-standard cellular radios, ultra-low-cost

ultra-low-power IoT radios, and tens-of-MHz radios for micro-nuclear magnetic resonance (μNMR) applications.

The key research interests are:

  • Sub-6GHz 2G/3G/4G wireless transceiver front-ends, and >28GHz 5G transceiver front-ends. SAW-less RF-flexible receivers and transmitters using our proposed gain-boosted N-path filter techniques are investigated.

  • Ultra-low-power IoT transceiver front-ends from sub-GHz to 2.4GHz, conforming to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee and NB-IoT. Ultra-low-cost and ultra-low-power RF and baseband (BB) techniques using our proposed function-reuse gain-boosted N-path receiver, RF-to-BB-current-reuse receiver, function-reuse VCO-PA, and ultra-low voltage receiver, transmitter and frequency synthesizer using a local micro-power manager are investigated.

  • Analog baseband circuits such as micro-power amplifiers with high capacitive load drivability, continuous-time/discrete-time filters with a very compact chip area, energy harvesting units with high efficiency, sensor readout interfaces with low noise effective factor, and crystal oscillators with low startup energy are investigated.

  • RF/mmWave circuits such as active-inductor-enhanced wideband amplifiers, multi harmonic-peaking wave-shaping VCOs, time-interleaved ring oscillators with a wide tuning range, and type-I phased-locked loops with ultra-low-voltage operation are investigated.

  • Digital baseband correction techniques for I/Q mismatch, LO feedthrough and strong memory-effect distortion in wideband transmitters are investigated.

  • Tens-of-MHz (e.g., 20MHz) transceivers with a sensing coil (on/off-chip spiral inductor) to allow electronic-automated biological and chemical assays in a small form factor.

The invented techniques are expected to advance the state-of-the-art knowledge in the fields, and should be potentially transferrable to the industry for practical applications.