(AFRL) In this project, we investigate efficient solutions towards a prototype high-performance SiGe BiCMOS IC for dual-band phased array operation (K- & V-band). In addition, we develop reconfigurable frontend building blocks that can enable frequency tuning and/or impedance adjustment to alleviate the impact of antenna impedance variations during wide scan angle operation.
(Fraunhofer) In this work, we develop approaches to acquire high output power from low-breakdown voltage devices by means of series and parallel stacking of smaller unit cells. The studies include determination of reliability depending on ballasting resistors, layout practices, and harmonic termination using MSU's active harmonic load-pull characterization setup.
(NSF) Combining aspects of sparse array theory and spatial frequency sampling, the proposed active incoherent millimeter-wave imaging system will utilize a spatio-temporal incoherent transmitter array combined with a sparse, coherent receiver array. Towards this end, the project investigates a novel modular packaging format, where individual transceiver chips are wirelessly phase locked and the received data is wirelessly downlinked. This distributed approach enables the new imaging method to be directly scalable and easily implemented in future millimeter-wave imaging systems.
We develop highly-functinal ICs realized in silicon technologies (e.g., SiGe) for emerging applications such as multi-Gbps communications, 5G, high resolution radar, remote sensing. Critical technological aspects we address are minituarization and electronic beamforming/beamsteering. Furthermore, we investigate applications in the sub-millimeter wave frequencies (i.e. > 100 GHz) and research efficient ways to realize components that can facilitate such applications.
Power amplifiers are one of the most challenging blocks in integrated systems and a PA's efficiency tpically limits the efficiency of the overall system. In addition to this, high-speed IC technologies typically come with a limited breakdown voltage; therefore, require advanced design techniques like parallel and series stacking in order achieve desired output power levels. We investigate design techniques to achieve high output power and efficiency and investigate the reliability of devices operating at their limits.
Increasing data rates demand improved capability from optical fiber backbones for short- and long-haul transmission. This requires higher bandwidth, higher-order modulation formats and consequently higher linearity from optoelectronics. Another critical aspect is minituarization and lower-cost producion of these components.
In this research area we investigate unique ways to implement very high bandwidth signal processing. As the instentenous bandwidth of today's systems start to exceed 10 GHz, performing certain functions in the analog domain becomes a viable solution in terms of energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.