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High Performance Triple Play by Professor Hua Wang’s Team

The Georgia Tech Electronics and Micro-System Lab (GEMS), under the direction of Asst. Professor Hua Wang, unveiled a trio of high performance integrated circuit designs that hold the potential to increase the efficiency and portability of future 5G wireless and IoT based devices at the 2017 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

 As communications devices increase in complexity and connectivity, the increase in power necessary to drive peak performance often drives an increase in IC footprints in order to accommodate amplification across spectral bands, thus pushing the size of the final package, as well as costs of production, upwards. In order to mitigate the increase in size needed for multi-band power amplification in future 5G and MIMO systems, Wang’s group has demonstrated the world’s first mm-Wave Doherty power amplifier that can cover multiple 5G bands in only one IC chip. Using a low-cost and scalable Silicon Germanium (SiGe) platform for production, this single IC footprint amplifier is ideally suited for use in ultra-high-speed wireless data transfer, augmented-reality and virtual-reality (VR) devices, and ‘smart city’ developments such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to enable self-driving transportation.

The team’s second demonstrator, a mm-wave transmitter-antenna co-design for 5G backhaul applications, also targets high performance with a smaller form-factor. Unlike traditional phased-array designs, which must comprise hundreds or thousands of many small antennas to achieve high gain, the teams compact multi-feed antenna concept achieves the best output power and energy efficiency among reported mm-Wave power amplifiers or transmitters whilst maintaining a single antenna footprint. The design it is particularly useful to support high-performance long-range back-haul applications, such as base-station to base-station communication, for future 5G networks.

The GEMS team’s final presentation, an ultra-broadband 100GHz-300GHz transmitter/receiver system for mm-Wave/THz hyperspectral imaging, seeks to make terahertz based spectroscopy quick, non-destructive, and portable. This newly developed sensor platform may be used for a broad array of applications, such as wireless patient point-of-care health examinations via breath analysis and non-destructive and on-location scanning of packaged food items for safety and quality control. Additionally, the new sensor’s bandwidth, transmitter power flatness, and receiver sensitivity make it ideal for use in the growing world of new materials research and 3D printing by spectrally evaluating for hidden defects. During a live demonstration of the sensor, the team detected screws in the cream of sealed, packaged cookies and water content measurements in fresh vs. dry leaves.

About Dr. Wang

Professor Wang received his B.Sc. from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 2007 and 2009, respectively.  Dr. Wang is generally interested in innovating and engineering mixed-signal, RF, and mm-Wave integrated systems for wireless communication and bioelectronics applications. He is a member of Sigma Xi, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society, and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

About IEEE ISSCC

The IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) is the flagship conference for solid state circuit design.

Further Reading

A 28GHz/37GHz/39GHz Multiband Linear Doherty Power Amplifier for 5G Massive MIMO Applications. Authors: Song Hu, Fei Wang, Hua Wang

A 60GHz On-Chip Linear Radiator with Single-Element 27.9dBm Psat and 33.1dBm Peak EIRP Using Multi-Feed Antenna for Direct On-Antenna Power Combining.
Authors: Taiyun Chi, Fei Wang, Sensen Li, Min-Yu Huang, Jongseok Park, and Hua Wang

A Packaged 90-300GHz Transmitter and 115-325GHz Coherent Receiver in CMOS for Full-Band Continuous-Wave Mm-Wave and THz Hyperspectral Imaging.
Authors: Taiyun Chi, Min-Yu Huang, Sensen Li, and Hua Wang

- Christa M. Ernst