RF and mm-Wave Phased Arrays: Techniques for Silicon Integration

April 11, 2008
EE Conference Room, 1306 Mudd
Speaker: Harish Krishnaswamy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles


The integration of millimeter-wave systems in silicon-based technologies has generated tremendous interest in academia and industry over the last five years. However, the efforts thus far have focused on the direct application of conventional microwave design techniques to silicon. Relying heavily on modular design, apriori measurement of the individual active and passive devices, and simple circuit topologies, this approach misses the fundamental point of silicon integration. Silicon-based technologies, particularly CMOS, allow the designer to reliably integrate millions of transistors onto a single chip. This paves the way for innovative compact and power-efficient architectures that exploit multi-functional circuits, nonlinear phenomena and “free” calibration circuitry.This talk will present architectures and implementations along these lines that attempt to truly harness the power of silicon at RF and mm-wave frequencies. The emphasis will be on an integrated phased-array-transceiver architecture that exploits a nonlinear injection-pulling phenomenon and eliminates key building blocks, such as mixers, power splitters and phase shifters. Theoretical formulations for performance metrics, such as sensitivity, linearity and mismatch tolerance, will be presented. The talk will also include results from fully-integrated 4-channel phased-array prototypes implemented in 0.13μm CMOS and operating in the 22-29GHz frequency band. These prototypes exhibit state-of-the-art performance at a fraction of the area and power consumptions of conventional designs.

Speaker Biography

Harish Krishnaswamy received the B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, India, in 2001, and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2003. He is currently a doctoral candidate at USC.
His research interests include high-quality integrated passive elements, high-frequency oscillators and integrated RF and mm-wave phased-array transceivers. In the summers of 2006 and 2007, he held internship positions at Sierra Monolithics, Inc. and the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center respectively, and worked on mm-wave building blocks for wireless transceivers.

He received the IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper in 2007

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