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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Integrated Circuits and Systems for Millimeter-Wave Frequencies

  • Author(s): Mohammadnezhad, Seyed Mohammad Hossein
  • Advisor(s): Heydari, Payam
  • et al.

In the first section of this thesis, mm-wave circuit- and system-level solutions for addition of multi-user service to conventional multi-antenna phased array architectures will be introduced. The proposed architecture will enhance the link capacity, co-channel user service and hardware cost compared to conventional solutions. Theory and design of the circuits and system are detailed and comprehensive measurement results are presented verifying the system-level functionality. First section is named A Millimeter-Wave Partially-Overlapped Beamforming-MIMO Receiver: Theory, Design, and Implementation. More specifically, this section presents an analysis and design of a partially-overlapped beamforming-MIMO architecture capable of achieving higher beamforming and spatial multiplexing gains with lower number of elements compared to conventional architectures. As a proof of concept, a 4-element beamforming-MIMO receiver (RX) covering 64-67 GHz frequency band enabling 2-stream concurrent reception is designed and measured. By partitioning the RX elements into two clusters and partially overlapping these clusters to create two 3-element beamformers, both phased-array (coherent beamforming) as well as MIMO (spatial multiplexing) features are simultaneously acquired. 6-bit phase shifters with 360° phase control and 5-bit VGAs with 11 dB range are designed to enable steering of the two RX clusters toward two arbitrary angular locations corresponding to two users. Fabricated in a 130-nm SiGe BiCMOS process, the RX achieves a 30.15 dB maximum direct conversion gain and a 9.8 dB minimum noise figure (NF) across 548 MHz IF bandwidth. S-parameter-based array factor measurements verify spatial filtering of the interference and spatial multiplexing in this RX chip.

In the second section of this thesis, energy-efficient ultra-high speed transceiver architectures will be presented. Current high-speed transceivers rely on high-sampling-rate high-resolution power-hungry analog-to-digital converters or digital-to-analog converters at the interface of analog and digital circuitries. However, design of these backend data-converters are extremely power-hungry at very high speeds in a fully-integrated end-to-end scenario (i.e. RF-to-Bits, Bits-to-RF). Novel system-level architectures will be presented that obviate the need for such costly data converters and will significantly relax the complexity of digital signal-processing. The proposed architecture will result in orders of magnitude energy saving at ultra-high speeds. Theory, design, and measurement results of the highest-speed, highly energy-efficient fully-integrated end-to-end transceiver will be discussed in this section. Second section is named A Millimeter-Wave Energy-Efficient Direct-Demodulation Receiver: Theory, Design, and Implementation. More precisely, this section presents the theory, design, and implementation of an 8PSK direct-demodulation receiver based on a novel multi-phase RF-correlation concept. The output of this RF-to-bits receiver architecture is demodulated bits, obviating the need for power-hungry high-speed-resolution data converters. A single-channel 115-135-GHz receiver prototype was fabricated in a 55-nm SiGe BiCMOS process. A max conversion gain of 32 dB and a min noise figure (NF) of 10.3 dB was measured. A data-rate of 36 Gbps was wirelessly measured at 30 cm distance with the received 8PSK signal being directly demodulated on-chip at a bit-error-rate (BER) of 1e-6. The measured receiver sensitivity at this BER is -41.28 dBm. The prototype occupies 2.5 by 3.5 mm squared of die area including PADs and test circuits (2.5 mm squared active area) and consumes a total DC power of 200.25 mW.

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