The increasing popularity of the 60-GHz unlicensed band for wireless communications combined with CMOS scaling, yielding faster devices, presents a great opportunity for using mainstream CMOS technology for 60-GHz radios. The design and optimization of nonlinear circuits, such as mixers, requires precise knowledge of the nonlinear characteristics of the active devices over a wide range of operation.

In this paper, a large-signal CMOS transistor modeling methodology is presented, which extends the standard low-frequency MOS model with additional parasitics, necessary to account for high-frequency effects. Our modeling methodology for the transmission lines using scalable models is briefly discussed, as are the trade-offs between different mixer architectures imposed by the difficulty of obtaining high-gain CMOS amplifiers and getting a large LO power out of a CMOS device in the millimeter-wave region. The design procedure for an active, gate-fed mixer architecture with low conversion loss and noise figure is given as an example, and simulation results of a balanced topology are presented.