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Advanced mmWave Communication Systems

Analog and Mixed Signal Technologies

Overview

Eband Transceiver chipset - Regulatory institutions worldwide have allotted the 71-76 and 81-86 GHz spectral regions as light licensing bands. These regions are promising candidates for high-speed, fixed, point-to-point communications. Within the allotted spectrum bands (totaling 10 GHz), highly directional links featuring data throughputs of up to 10 GBits per second have been demonstrated. Such characteristics are extremely difficult to obtain in the lower microwave bands due to bandwidth and wavelength constraints, making the E-band an attractive candidate for bandwidth-demanding applications such as the internet infrastructure backhaul, "last mile" connectivity, and metropolitan/local area networks.

The transceiver chipset design (for the lower and upper bands of the spectrum) that the group is developing offers a high level of integration and dramatically reduces the system production cost. Its highlights:

  • Programmable output power up to 20dBm
  • Implemented in IBM proprietary SiGe process (8HP)
  • Integrated image reject filters
  • Integrated 9GHz IF filters
  • Integrated sub-integer frequency synthesizer with a single external reference
  • Integrated FM/MSK modulator and AM/FM demodulators for ASK, FSK, and MSK
  • Programmable IF gain blocks
  • Universal I/Q interface
  • Three-wire serial digital interface
  • Integrated corner robust bias and current sources for low noise and high yield

Ultra Low Power 60GHz High Throughput Radio - Recent advances in semiconductor CMOS technology enable the development of low-cost high-bandwidth wireless communication systems. These low-cost transceivers are expected to bring wireless point-to-point file transfer and streaming applications into mass-production appliances such as TVs, camcorders, cell phones, and laptops. The team is developing a low-cost, high-throughput wireless transceiver to support this new paradigm of high-speed home communication. The focus is on a single chip solution with a high level of integration (RF-to-baseband including ADC on a single chip) for a short range (less than one meter) wireless transceiver in the unlicensed 60GHz ISM Band. Based on IBM's leading CMOS technology and know-how, an efficient integrated receiver is being developed with an emphasis on ultra-low power (a target of less than 150 mW) and low-cost RF and baseband components. To the best of our knowledge, no competing high bandwidth, low-power, low-cost, wireless communication link solution exists today for high volume consumer application. The ultra-low power Transceiver SoC is targeted initially at mobile applications for the HD Camcorder. The usage model includes fast file transfer and 720p streaming video from HD Camcorder to HDTV. The ultra-low power Transceiver is also targeted at extremely short range (few inches) wireless chip-to-chip communication. In the long term, it is envisioned that this product will migrate to high-end mobile phone devices and health care applications such as portable MRI, CT-SCAN, and digital imaging enabled tablets, which will expand the market tremendously. The technical challenge for this 60GHz radio is to be capable of transfer rates up to 1.5 Gbps over a range of 1 meter while limiting the power consumption to less than 150 mW.