There are an increasing number of functions that require the use of ultra low power radio systems, often in a very small form factor, that are not addressed by the current low power standards such as Bluetooth, for example, communication between a watch based PDA and a PC, where operation from a single cell battery at very low current becomes important. These can be addressed by short range devices operating in a number of the bands allocated for the purpose, including 433 MHz in Europe and bands close to 900 MHz in Europe and the USA. This paper describes some of the design techniques that can be used for design of RFIC transceivers which can operate at 1V supply and very low currents. The techniques are described with reference to designs for a power amplifier and prescaler functions for a 900 MHz low power radio transceiver designed on an 0.18µm RF CMOS process.

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