Imec demonstrates a low-power 7-Gbps 60-GHz transceiver for the wireless consumer applications
May 03, 2012 // Paul Buckley
Imec has collaborated with Panasonic to develop a prototype of a 60 GHz radio transceiver allowing to reach data rates of 7 Gbps over short distances at low power consumption.
The chip achieves this performance over the four channels specified by the IEEE802.11ad standard. Imec’s low-power 60 GHz solution is an important step towards adoption of 60 GHz technology in low-cost battery-operated consumer products such as smart phones and tablets.
Today’s wireless consumer electronic products increasingly include data-intensive applications, while applications below 10GHz such as WLAN face spectrum scarcity. This drives wireless system designers to explore higher frequency bands such as the unlicensed band around 60 GHz. This band is available throughout the world and enables multi-Gbps wireless communication over short distances. However, to enable 60 GHz radio solutions for portable mass-market products, cost, area and power consumption need to drastically decrease. Imec’s ultra-low power CMOS-based solution is an important step to solve these challenges.
Imec’s transceiver front-end prototype IC (integrated circuit) achieves an EVM (error vector management) better than -17 dB for QAM16 modulation in the four channels specified by the IEEE802.11ad standard, reaching data rates of 7Gbps over short distances. The IC is implemented in 40 nm LP (low-power) digital CMOS targeting low-cost volume production. The TX (transmitter) signal path, consisting of a power amplifier (PA) and a mixer, consumes only 90 mW with 10.2 dBm OP1dB. The RX (receiver) signal path, consisting of a low noise amplifier (LNA) and a mixer, consumes only 35 mW with a noise frequency (NF) of 5.5 dB and 30 dB gain. ESD (electrostatic discharge) robustness is more than 4 kV HBM (human body model).
The compact core area of only 0.7 mm2 makes this transceiver front-end solution particularly suitable for use in phased arrays. The area is kept low thanks to the use of lumped components even at 60 GHz, and very compact mm-wave CMOS layout techniques. Continuous research done at imec on power efficient CMOS PAs enables further important reductions in the power consumption of the transmitter section. The front-end is now further being integrated into a beamforming transceiver prototype.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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