Co-design of on-chip antennas and circuits for a UNII band monolithic transceiver
KAUST DepartmentComputer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division
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AbstractThe surge of highly integrated and multifunction wireless devices has necessitated the designers to think outside the box for solutions that are unconventional. The new trends have provided the impetus for low cost and compact RF System-on-Chip (SoC) approaches . The major advantages of SoC are miniaturization and cost reduction. A major bottleneck to the true realization of monolithic RF SoC transceivers is the implementation of on-chip antennas with circuitry. Though complete integrated transceivers with on-chip antennas have been demonstrated, these designs are generally for high frequencies. Moreover, they either use non-standard CMOS processes or additional fabrication steps to enhance the antenna efficiency, which in turn adds to the cost of the system [2-3]. Another challenge related to the on-chip antennas is the characterization of their radiation properties. Most of the recently reported work (summarized in Table I) shows that very few on-chip antennas are characterized. Our previous work , demonstrated a Phase Lock Loop (PLL) based transmitter (TX) with an on-chip antenna. However, the radiation from the on-chip antenna experienced strong interference due to 1) some active circuitry on one side of the chip and 2) the PCB used to mount the chip in the anechoic chamber. This paper presents, for the first time, a complete 5.2 GHz (UNII band) transceiver with separate TX and receiver (RX) antennas. To the author's best knowledge, its size of 3 mm2 is the smallest reported for a UNII band transceiver with two on-chip antennas. Both antennas are characterized for their radiation properties through an on-wafer custom measurement setup. The strategy to co-design on-chip antennas with circuits, resultant trade-offs and measurement challenges have also been discussed. © 2010 IEEE.
DescriptionFor the first time, a UNII band monolithic transceiver with two on-chip antennas has been demonstrated. The complete chip, sized 3 mm2, is the smallest reported for such a configuration. The antenna on the TX side performs double duty by providing the inductance to the VCO resonant tank. On the other hand, the RX side antenna has been conjugate matched to the LNA. Through a co-design strategy, the circuits have been placed inside the antennas to demonstrate an efficient use of the chip-space. Both antennas have been characterized for their radiation properties through a custom on-wafer measurement setup. Many layout challenges have been highlighted for such an integrated design.
CitationShamim A, Arsalan M, Roy L, Salama KN (2010) Co-design of on-chip antennas and circuits for a UNII band monolithic transceiver. 2010 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium. doi:10.1109/APS.2010.5562066.
Conference/Event name2010 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and CNC-USNC/URSI Radio Science Meeting - Leading the Wave, AP-S/URSI 2010