UCSD Demos World’s Longest Bidirectional Phased-Array Link at 60 GHz

Keysight Technologies and the University of California, San Diego have unveiled the world’s longest bidirectional phased-array link using the 60 GHz band. At a link distance of 300 m, the 32-element array achieved a data rate of greater than 2 Gbps over all scan angles up to ±45 degrees. Data rates were 4 Gbps at 100 m and 500 Mbps at 800 m over most scan angles. Initial tests by a leading wireless provider suggests the system can deliver content to eight homes at a time at a distance of up to 300 m.

The entire phased array system consumed 3 to 4 W of DC power in either its transmit (Tx) or receive (Rx) modes. This is due to the high-performance system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs UC San Diego created using the third-generation silicon germanium BiCMOS standard buried collector (SiGe BiCMOS SBC18H3) process from TowerJazz.

Keysight hardware and software enabled rapid prototyping of the system, as well as link equalization and state-of-the-art performance measurements at 2 GHz modulation bandwidth. Central Keysight hardware elements were the M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, E8267D PSG vector signal generator and DSOS804A high-definition oscilloscope.

UC San Diego used Keysight’s Signal Studio software to define and generate the 60 GHz 802.11ad waveform, which was the basis for development. Keysight’s 81199A Wideband Waveform Center software helped the team link Tx and Rx, apply digital pre-distortion and improve error vector magnitude (EVM) performance. The team also used Keysight’s 89600 VSA software to perform demodulation and analysis of advanced signals.

The H3 process is part of the TowerJazz Terabit Platform, which includes state-of-the-art 240 GHz SiGe bipolar transistors and CMOS analog devices. With unequalled low noise, the platform is a technology of choice for use at 60 GHz and in high-frequency applications such as radar, optical wireless communication and emerging wireless standards.

Key contributors to the UC San Diego effort were Bhaskar Rupakula and Ahmed Nafe, graduate students in electrical engineering; and Samet Zihir and Tsu-Wei Lin, electrical engineering post-doctoral fellows. All Keysight products used in the development of the 5G communication link are available now. UC San Diego’s phased-array SoCs are also now available. Click here to learn more about Keysight's Solutions for 5G.

Highlights of the 60 GHz Link:

  • Uses UC San Diego transmit/receive phased-array chips with noise figure less than 6 dB
  • Has 42 dBm equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP)
  • Scans ±50 degrees with sidelobes under –14 dB (32-element antenna)
  • Leverages TowerJazz high-performance SiGe BiCMOS SBC18H3 process
  • Benefits from Keysight hardware and software for signal generation and analysis