As part of its broad focus on millimeter-wave (mmWave) data transfer applications, CEA-Leti has developed a hybrid, ultra-fast, ultra-low latency technology that guides mmWave radio signals through flexible plastic tubing. They have called the solution H-Link. It is a low-cost, energy-saving system that ensures Gb/s broadband connectivity while overcoming the limits of copper wire and optical fiber, such as oxidation of metal and brittleness. In addition to being flexible and less sensitive to vibration and electromagnetism, H-Link’s wireless technology delivers transmission speeds of up to 15 Gb/s.
Designed for multiple robotic and other applications, the system meets next-generation wireless-system performance requirements of the automotive, aeronautics, telecom, Industry 4.0, and healthcare sectors. The first-of-its-kind technology can transfer information over distances up to 10 meters at a speed of 15 Gb/s, with an average data transmission speed of 6 Gb/s over a little more than two meters.
mmWave systems operate in frequency ranges from 30 to 300 GHz. CEA-Leti’s previous work in mmWave communications includes the design and use of 5G networks on the MINATEC campus in Grenoble. In addition to being the next challenge to delivering the full potential of 5G, mmWave technology will be required for future innovative services such as fixed, super-high-speed broadband access, industrial automation, healthcare, and intelligent transport systems.
The plastic-based system, which is much lighter than copper, uses one-tenth of the energy of copper and less than fiber-optic cable. In addition, it can be connected by hand with tape, because it uses millimeter waves rather than nanometer waves (optical fiber) and eliminates the need for heat splicing or welding.
H-Link's emitter transform digital SDI in mmWave modulated signal. The signal is radiated through either a plastic waveguide or an antenna-free space link to the receiver which delivers digital SDI. In terms of technical performance, H-Link offers:
- Full duplex, multi-channels.
- No additional conversion, and no equalization.
- No micron-level alignment, and no electrical contact.
- Low loss versus copper and wireless.
- High energy efficiency (around 1pJ/bit/m).
- Freedom of movement including tilt, angle, and misalignment
- Help ensure flexibility by transferring signals through specific materials.
“H-Link is a highly versatile and adaptable robotic system for multiple applications that use high-data-rate communication for performing scientific, industrial and medical tasks,” said Didier Belot, an RF and mmWave design senior expert at CEA-Leti. “For example, in addition to allowing scientists to perform chemistry experiments or jobs in confined spaces and protected biology work with viruses and bacteria in gloveboxes, the system allows remote micro- and nanotechnology development and remote nuclear material manipulation.”
H-Link advantages by application:
- Automotive: 100 percent wireless system delivers a strong 360° signal and ultra-low energy consumption, which is essential in moving vehicles and that requires multiple high-speed connections; not affected by vibration.
- Aeronautics/space applications: Ultra-low power consumption is essential because of limited power supply; low weight is suitable for space missions.
- Telemedicine: Robotics allows remote treatment, e.g., dentists working with patients in a clinic from a distant office; no cable kinking.
- Lab research: Manipulation of robotic arms in enclosed containers, e.g., glove boxes, protects researchers from dangerous materials and eliminates electromagnetic interference that could affect findings.
- Industry 4.0: No cable kinking, and electromagnetic interference.
- Telecommunications: Reduces cost, power consumption, and the need for physical/cable links to meet data deluge in data centers. For 5G, need to transfer info from base station to emitting antenna at an ultra-low-cost.
H-Link will be featured during the Leti Innovation Days virtual event, June 22-23. Click here to register for this event.
Click here to learn more about mmWave technology.