Anandaroop Chakrabarti (a 4th-year PhD student in the CoSMIC lab advised by Prof. Harish Krishnaswamy) and Mehdi Ashraphijuo (a 2nd-year PhD student advised by Prof. Xiaodong Wang) have won a 2014 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QInF). Their proposal, titled "Massive Millimeter-wave MIMO for 100G Wireless," aims to co-develop innovative millimeter-wave (mmWave) digitally-intensive transmitter circuits and architectures as well as novel low-power Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) signal processing techniques to realize a massive MIMO wireless link with data-rates approaching 100Gb/s, making it suitable for mobile backhaul. Chakrabarti and Ashraphijuo explain that the backhaul network of wireless communications currently relies on fiber optic cables to transport data from the core network to the base stations; this system, however, comes at a high cost. “The key strength of our proposal is to combine low-cost, massively scalable, high-power CMOS transmitter arrays at mmWave with novel MIMO signal processing techniques to overcome the need for high gain antennas,” says Chakrabarti. “This enables us to use simple modulation schemes and fully exploit the benefits of massive mmWave MIMO resulting in long-haul links with data-rates afforded solely by fiber optics until now.”
The QInF fellowship is highly competitive and prestigious - 137 proposals were submitted (from 18 schools) and 34 finalists were selected (acceptance rate: 24.8%). The judges then selected the 9 winning teams (acceptance rate: 6.6%) out of the 34 finalists, who are awarded a $100,000 fellowship each.