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A*STAR IME creates silicon-based millimeter-wave high-speed chips

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:millimeter wave? frequency? wireless?

Future high speed wireless communication products might rely on silicon if researchers at the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) could have their way. Researchers at the institute said they have created silicon-based high-speed chips that can wirelessly transmit data at a rate of 10Gb/s on the 135GHz bandmore than 100 times faster than present day Wi-Fi.

The speed of such millimeter-wave communication systems, which have so far been limited to military and space applications, will allow users to wirelessly download three Blu-ray movies in just one minute. Expensive Group III-V elements such as gallium arsenide were traditionally used for millimeter-wave frequency communications but the recent breakthrough promises to bring down the costs and open the technology to commercial applications.

Dr Xiong Yong Zhong, principal investigator of IME's Millimeter-wave and Terahertz program, said the high-speed millimeter-wave transmitter and receiver chip set they created uses a low noise amplifier with enhanced gain-boosting 3D configuration to improve gain and noise performance, a high-speed modulator, a high-speed variable gain amplifier with circuits that allow high-speed communication over wide dynamic range of 36dB, and a 3D micromachining microstrip to waveguide transition structure, which is key to minimizing signal loss.

"In order to enable such high data rate of 10Gb/s on 135GHz carrier signal, the modulator plays an important role to convert message signals to a suitable form before 135 GHz wireless transmission," Zhong said. "To attain high fidelity of the data signals transmitted, shielding ground structures and a novel combination of bias and matching networks were applied to reduce the noise interferences to less than 10dB. Without these structures, noise levels can be as high as 15dB."

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