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SiGe chipset claims highest frequency rate

Posted: 01 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SiGe? transmitter-receiver chipset? THz? DotFive project?

The DotFive project of the European Union has developed an 820GHz SiGe transmitter and receiver chipset that enables x-ray-like visionspecifically to see inside containersat harmless millimeter wavelengths. According to DotFive, the chipset boasts the highest frequency of operation in SiGe history.

Visual images (top) and x-ray-like terahertz images (below) of objects screened at 0.82 THz with an integrated SiGe solution. Source: DotFive

Today's THz imaging, radar and communications applications require expensive exotic devices, but the DotFive project aims to lower the cost of THz devices by casting them in high-frequency SiGe. The three-year-old project is focused on producing millimeter wavelength SiGe hetero-junction BiCMOS, which will be produced commercially by STMicroelectronics NV and Infineon Technologies AG.

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, IHP GmbH and the University of Wuppertal presented the latest results of the DotFive project. The team described its chipsettransmitter and receiverthat includes all the frequency multipliers, harmonic mixers, power amplifiers, on-chip antennas and other circuits needed to create 820GHz frequencies from an 18GHz reference. The researchers demonstrated the chips in a THz imaging application that could see inside a USB memory stick.

Chip micrographs of a fully-integrated SiGe chip-set for THz imaging applications, to be presented at the 2011 ISSCC. Source: DotFive

The DotFive project is led by STMicro (Geneva), Infineon (Munich, Germany), XMOD Technologies (Talence, France), GWT-TUD GmbH (Dresden, Germany), along with research institutes IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) and IHP (Germany), and academic partners at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz (Austria), the Bordeaux National School of Electronics, IT and Radiocommunications, the Paris-Sud University (France), the Technical University of Dresden, the Bundeswehr University in Munich, the University of Siegen (Germany) and the University of Naples (Italy).

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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