A robust frequency tracking loop for energy-efficient crystalless WBAN systems

Wei Hao Sung*, Jui Yuan Yu, Chen-Yi Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This brief presents a frequency tracking loop (FTL) to realize a crystalless wireless sensor node (WSN) for wireless body area network (WBAN). By tracking a remote wireless RF reference for system clock calibration, the proposed FTL allows WSNs to tolerate a large-frequency error from on-chip CMOS oscillators. Moreover, to achieve energy-efficient transmissions in crystalless, a sufficiently accurate convergence clock is required to enable burst overmegabits-per-second system throughput with minimized operation duty cycle. For the dedicated purpose, a comparison-based binary-search tracking scheme, which ensures accurate and robust convergence against noisy wireless channel, is further developed to manage the operation of FTL. The intermediate frequency back-end part of FTL is implemented in 90-nm CMOS process. Measurement results show that the FTL extends an initial tolerance of system clock error to pm3% and achieves a final quartz-crystal comparable pm 50-ppm accuracy. This enables 4.85-Mb/s wireless links and improves 79% energy efficiency by RF operation-time reduction, giving a power-saved and miniaturized WSN device for WBAN applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6035963
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Crystalless
  • frequency calibration
  • on-chip oscillator
  • process, voltage and temperature (PVT) variation
  • wireless body area network (WBAN)

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