During dinner at the CDADIC Summer 2016 meeting Director Andreas Weisshaar recognized OSU Assistant Professor Arun Natarajan as the winner of the Best 2016 CDADIC Project Award. Each year the CDADIC Industry Members select a project to receive this award. Here is a brief description that Arun wrote about his project:
"This project investigates circuit and antenna techniques that are broadly applicable to mm-wave transmitter and receiver for multi-Gb/sec communication and imaging. The spectrum crunch at RF has motivated investigation of wireless systems operating at mm-wave frequencies where large bandwidths (>5Ghz) are available. While there have been several demonstrations of CMOS/SIGe ICs integrating large number of transmit/receive elements at mm-wave frequencies, the interface between the IC and the mm-wave package has emerged as a key challenge, particularly when large number of mm-wave IO are required in an array. The increased complexity of package and cost of low-loss mm-wave materials significantly impact overall array cost.
In this project, we leverage CMOS co-integration of circuits and antennas feeds to create multiple feeds for the antennas that can be used to tailor radiation patterns and polarization. We achieve wireless coupling between off-chip antennas and on-chip feed structures, thereby eliminating mm-wave IO to and from the IC. Implementing orthogonal feed structures allows both Vertical and Horizontal polarized transmit/receive signals to the IC. The proposed antenna structure leads to overall efficiency camparable to state-of-the-art while eliminating mm-wave IO, leading to simplified packaging cost and testing. Additionally, control circuits can also be integrated along with the feed structures to compensate for cross-polarization leakage. Active polarization control techniques proposed are critical to achieve polarization diversity and robust operation for different TX and RX orientations in mobile applications."