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Silicon Taper Based D-band Chip to Waveguide Interconnect for Millimeter-wave Systems

Ahmed Hassona, Vessen Vassilev, Zhongxia Simon He, Chiara Mariotti, Franz Dielacher, Herbert Zirath, 24th October 2017,
IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters

This paper presents a novel interconnect for coupling Millimeter-wave (mmW) signals from integrated circuits to air-filled waveguides. The proposed solution is realized through a slot antenna implementend in embedded Wafer Level Ball Grid Array (eWLB) process. The antenna radiates into a high-resistivity (HR) silicon taper perpendicular to its plane, which in turn radiates into an air-filled waveguide. The interconnect achieves a measured average insertion loss of 3.4 dB over the frequency range 166-151 GHz. The proposed interconnect is generic and does not require any galvanic contacts. The utilized eWLB packaging process is suitable for low-cost high-volume production and allows heterogeneous integration with other technologies. This work proposes a straightforward cost-effective high-performance interconnect for mmW integration and thus addressing one of the main challenges facing systems operating beyond 100 GHz.

A 100-145 GHz Area-Efficient Power Amplifier in a 130 nm SiGe Technology

Mingquan Bao, Zhongxia Simon He, Herbert Zirath, 8th - 13th October 2017, Nürnberg/Germany

A 6-stage, 8-way combining power amplifier (PA) in a 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS technology is designed and measured. This PA has an output power of 12.5 – 15.5 dBm in a frequency range from 100 GHz to 145 GHz, when the input power is about 2 dBm. The small signal gain is 19 dB and the maximum DC power consumption is 480 mW with a supply voltage of 1.87 V. The peak power added efficiency (PAE) is 6.4% in D-band. T-junctions are utilized to combine and divide millimeter-wave power. To reduce the PA’s loss and chip area, neither a Wilkinson power combiner/divider nor a balun is applied. The chip size is 0.53 mm 2 (0.26 mm 2 without pads).

A Direct Carrier I/Q Modulator for High-Speed Communication at D-Band Using 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS Technology

Sona Carpenter, Zhongxia Simon He, Herbert Zirath, 8th - 13th October 2017, Nürnberg/Germany

This paper presents a 110-170 GHz direct conversion I/Q modulator realized in 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS technology with f t /f max values of 250 GHz/ 370 GHz. The design is based on doublebalanced Gilbert mixer cells with on-chip quadrature LO phase shifter and RF balun. In single-sideband operation, the modulator exhibits up to 9.5 dB conversion gain and has measured 3 dB IF bandwidth of 12 GHz. The measured image rejection ratio and LO to RF isolation are as high as 20 dB and 31 dB respectively. Measured input P 1dB is -17 dBm at 127 GHz output. The DC power consumption is 53 mW. The active chip area is 620 μm× 480 μm including the RF and LO baluns. The circuit is capable of transmitting more than 12 Gbit/s QPSK signal. Index Terms— Gilbert cell mixer, millimeter wave, 5G, I/Q modulator, SiGe BiCMOS, D-band.

A SiGe High Gain and Highly Linear F-Band Single-Balanced Subharmonic Mixer

Neda Seyedhosseinzadeh, Abdolreza Nabavi, Sona Carpenter, Zhongxia Simon He, Mingquan Bao, Herbert Zirath, 8th - 13th October 2017, Nürnberg/Germany

A compact, broadband, high gain, second-order active down-converter subharmonic mixer is demonstrated using a 130-nm SiGe BiCMOS technology. The mixer adopts a bottom-LO Gilbert topology, on-chip RF and LO baluns and two emitter-follower buffers to realize a high gain wideband operation in both RF and IF frequencies. The measured performance exhibits a flat conversion gain (CG) of about 11 dB from 90 to 130 GHz with an average LO power of +3 dBm and high 2LO-RF isolation better than 60 dB. The mixer shows an input 1-dB compression point of -16 dBm consuming a dc power of only 40 mW. The chip dimension is 0.4 mm2, including probing pads. It demonstrates also up to 12 GHz 3-dB IF bandwidth, which to the authors’ knowledge, is the highest obtained among active mixers operating above 100 GHz Index Terms—SiGe MMICs, millimeter-wave, subharmonic mixer (SHM), conversion gain.

High Gain Reflector Antenna for M3tera H2020 Project

I. Maestrojuan; M. Goñi; A. Martinez 27th August - 1st September 2017, Cancun/Mexiko

The following paper presents design and fabrication process of a high gain reflector antenna system carried out within the H2020 M3tera project. This project is focused on the development of a complete microsystem able to work as high rate communication link at D-Band frequencies. The paper presents design and fabrication aspects of two prototypes one fabricated by conventional techniques and the second one by 3D printing. Comparative performance will be presented at the conference.


[Open research data: High Gain Reflector Antenna for M3tera H2020 Project - Dataset]

A Non-galvanic D-band MMIC-to Waveguide Transition Using eWLB Packaging Technology

Ahmed Hassona, Zhongxia Simon He, Chiara Mariotti, Franz Dielacher, Vessen Vassilev, Yinggang Li, Joachim Oberhammer, Herbert Zirath, on International Microwave Symposium 2017 (IMS 2017), 4th - 9th of June 2017, Honolulu/Hawai

This paper presents a novel D-band interconnect implemented in a low-cost embedded Wafer Ball Grid Array (eWLB) commercial process. The transition is realized through a patch slot antenna directly radiating to a standard waveguide opening. The interconnect achieves low insertion loss and good bandwidth. The measured minimum Insertion Loss (IL) is 2 dB and the average is 3 dB across a bandwidth of 22% covering the frequency range 110-138 GHz. In addition, the structure is easy to integrate as it does not require any special assembly nor any galvanic contacts. Adopting the low-cost eWLB process and standard waveguides makes the transition an attractive solution for interconnects beyond 100 GHz.

[Open Research Data to “A Non-galvanic D-band MMIC-to Waveguide Transition Using eWLB Packaging Technology”]

Elliptical Alignment Holes Enabling Accurate Direct Assembly of Microchips to Standard Waveguide Flanges at sub-THz Frequencies

James Campion, Umer Shah, Joachim Oberhammer, on International Microwave Symposium 2017 (IMS 2017), 4th - 9th of June 2017, Honolulu/Hawai

Current waveguide flange standards do not allow for the accurate fitting of microchips, due to the large mechanical tolerances of the flange alignment pins and the brittle nature of Silicon, requiring greatly oversized alignment holes on the chip to fit worst-case fabrication tolerances, resulting in unacceptably large misalignment error for sub-THz frequencies. This paper presents, for the first time, a new method for directly aligning micromachined Silicon chips to standard, i.e. unmodified, waveguide flanges with alignment accuracy significantly better than the waveguide-flange fabrication tolerances, through the combination of a tightly-fitting circular and an elliptical alignment hole on the chip. A Monte Carlo analysis predicts the reduction of the mechanical assembly margin by a factor of 5.5 compared to conventional circular holes, reducing the potential chip misalignment from 46 μm to 8.5 μm for a probability of fitting of 99.5%. For experimental verification, micromachined waveguide chips using either conventional (oversized) circular or the proposed elliptical alignment holes were fabricated and measured. A reduction in the standard deviation of the reflection coefficient by a factor of up to 20 was experimentally observed from a total of 200 measurements with random chip placement, exceeding the expectations from the Monte Carlo analysis. To our knowledge, this paper presents the first solution for highly accurate assembly of micromachined waveguide chips to standard waveguide flanges, requiring no custom flanges or other tailor-made split blocks.

[Open research data to Elliptical Alignment Holes Enabling Accurate Direct Assembly of Microchips to Standard Waveguide Flanges at sub-THz Frequencies]

3D Printed Antennas for mm-Wave Sensing Applications

A. Vorobyov, J. Farserotu, J-D. Decotignie, on International Medical and Information Technology 2017 (ISMICT 2017), February 2017

This paper presents three low cost 3D printed antenna concepts for integration with a miniature mm-wave platform. The proposed solutions are optimized to operate in mm-wave ISM band (122GHz-123GHz). Different, inexpensive, detachable antennas can be used with the same platform for various RF sensing applications such as food safety, health and industrial.

[Open research data: Dataset on skin response measurements]


High Gain Antenna for Sub-Millimeter Wave Communications

A. Martinez, I. Maestrojuán, D. Valcazar, J. Teniente, on European Microwave Week Conference 3rd - 7th of October 2016, London/UK

Nowadays the increase of high data rate communication applications requires high bandwidth at sub-millimeter wave frequencies and above, therefore high performance antennas are needed. This paper presents the design, fabrication and test of a high gain offset parabolic reflector antenna at sub-millimeter wave frequencies using typical machining techniques. The high gain antenna is focused on a 330 GHz communication link test with up to 70 GHz bandwidth with the goal to set up a 50 Gbit/s data rate link, over 100 m distance.

Human Physical Condition RF Sensing at THz range
A. Vorobyov, E. Daskalaki, C. Hennemann, J.-D. Decotignie, on 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), August 2016.

The skin response to high radio frequency has been associated with the human physical condition and most prominently with the stress. The objective of this study is to investigate the possibility to detect mental and light physical stress through the measurement of skin reflectance in the mm-wave/sub-THz band. Two frequency bands have been considered, 75-110 GHz (Band-I) and 325-500 GHz (Band-II), while the measurements have been performed in the three different locations, the arm, the dorsal side of the hand and the fingertip. The measurement setup is discussed in detail and the reflectance spectrum is demonstrated. The results illustrate a difference in skin reflectance under rest and stress in Band-II which ranges from 3.5 dB at the finger to 7 dB at the hand. The outcomes of this study indicate the feasibility of stress detection through skin reflectance measurement and serve as a suggestion for deeper exploration of higher frequency bands.

[Open research data: Dataset on skin response measurements]


Submitted public deliverables:

D3.3 Report on Overall MMIC Concept and Intra-Platform Interfaces [September 2015]

This deliverable defines the Receive/Transmit architecture for the telecom MMIC-demonstrator and propose the realization of sub-circuits and Intra-platform interfaces.

D4.3 Prototype of Antenna System – Public version [March 2017]

This deliverable presents the final antenna prototype performance for the primary application, telecommunication system.