PROJECT OVERVIEW

The research consists of the following five projects - High Efficiency Power Amplifiers and Transmitters for 5G and 6G Applications, Digital PLLs with Sub-100 fs jitter for Local Oscillator Frequency Synthesis, Powering and Communicating with the Internet-of-(Medical)-Things (IoMT), Low-Power mm-wave Circuits for Efficient Mobile Systems Beyond 5G and Directional Antennas using Phased-Arrays for 6G. The projects are separate but are related in that they will develop critical circuits for 5G and future-generation wireless applications. The projects are out-lined briefly in full overview (linked below) of Circuits and Techniques for 5G Mobile Communications and Beyond.

FULL OVERVIEW

Patrick Mercier - Chip on Pencil

Emerging applications in mobile devices such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), battery- powered wireless high-definition video systems, and lightweight drones all require increasingly high throughput communications. For this reason, mm-wave communication systems are an attractive option. However, such applications also require lightweight, low-power designs in order to maximize battery life. Unfortunately, most mm-wave transceivers designed for mobile 5G applications do not place power con- sumption at the top of the list in terms of optimization priority. Placing power consumption at the top of the list, with performance a close second, presents an opportunity to research and develop new radio ar- chitectures and circuit techniques to enable new classes of wireless applications beyond current 5G speci- fications.

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Research Figure

This project  investigates novel architectures and circuits for sub-6GHz 5G, mm-wave 5G, and introductory 6G power amplifiers (PAs).

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Ian Galton Circuits

High-order modulation formats, such as 1024 QAM, enable very high wireless data rates with high spectral efficiency. However, the higher the modulation order, the higher the performance required of the phase-locked loops (PLLs) used for transceiver local oscillator generation. PLLs with sub-100 fs  clock jitter are necessary for the high-performance modes of 5G, and it is likely that 6G jitter require- ments will be even more aggressive. Digital PLLs are particularly attractive for handset transceivers, but the few that have been published with sub-100 fs jitter have critical design challenges that make them temperamental to implement, and they have yet to be demonstrated in high-volume commercial products.

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Circuitry - Gabriel

This work researches different solutions for millimeter-wave 6G phased-arrays, from a topology, architecture and energy perspective, and how each of these will influence the design of the RFIC. Also, different high-efficiency antennas will be considered such as dielectric resonator antennas on top of the RFIC to laminate-type microstrip antennas in the package.

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Chip on Needle

Professor Hall is developing ultra-low power circuits and sensors for future IoT biosensors. These BioMote sensors are the size of a single grain of rice and will be subcutaneously injected through a 16-gauge needle into interstitial fluid (ISF), the quasi-stationary extracellular fluid surrounding cells composed of nutrients, metabolites, and waste. ISF is highly correlated with blood enabling continuous, long-term biomarker monitoring. The batteryless device will be wirelessly powered through an inductive link that will also be used for bi-directional communication. Electrochemical biosensors will be incorporated on the BioMote to enable long-term, continuous biomarker measurements.

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