DAAB - On-Chip Integrated Distributed Amplifier and Antenna Systems in Locally-Backside-Etched SiGe BiCMOS for Receivers with Ultra-Large Bandwidth


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Ellinger

Technical University Dresden

Institut für Grundlagen der Elektrotechnik und Elektronik

Lehrstuhl für Schaltungstechnik und Netzwerktheorie

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Plettemeier

Technical University Dresden

Institut für Nachrichtentechnik

Lehrstuhl Hochfrequenztechnik


In this project, novel distributed amplifier and antenna concepts are investigated to massively improve the relative bandwidth (bandwidth/centre frequency) of wireless receivers operating at frequencies above 100 GHz and up to 300 GHz. It is expected to achieve relative bandwidths of up to 50 % even at such high frequencies. This would correspond to an improvement by a factor of 3 compared to the state of the art. Hence, data rates beyond 100 Gb/s can be processed by the modules. The antennas are integrated on the amplifier chip to minimize the connection parasitics and to enable novel distributed concepts. The fastest available BiCMOS technology, currently with maximum frequency of oscillation of at least 500 GHz, will be applied. Local backside etching minimises the substrate losses. Bandwidth peaking techniques such as inductive peaking and controlled positive feedback enabling gain boosting at highest frequencies are studied. The project is conducted by two chairs exhibiting profound interdisciplinary competences in the area of high frequency communication systems, integrated circuits and antennas. Analytical models are derived for the novel antennas, amplifiers as well as systems, and verified by experimental hardware. We will investigate and compare several approaches, such as

  1. Wideband distributed amplifier integrated together with a broadband distributed antenna serving as benchmark
  2. Novel architecture based on multiple locally displaced antennas (e.g. stacked Vivaldi or linear tapered slot antennas) implemented at different metal levels allowing enlarged bandwidth and efficient signal detection particular to the chip surface. Each antenna drives a broadband distributed amplifier. The signals are combined at the output of the amplifiers by means of a distributed adder. By switching, phase-shift and gain control of the antenna paths, the antenna characteristics can be controlled.
  3. Novel architecture with one broadband distributed Vivaldi antenna providing feeding points with different impedances and hence centre frequencies. The signals fed by these feeding points can be amplified by frequency-scaled amplifiers and added in a distributed way. Since these amplifiers need only a moderate bandwidth, they can be optimized for high gain and/or low power consumption. However, due to the distributed nature, a large system bandwidth is possible.
  4. Concept based on one antenna with locally displaced antenna ports to achieve a more equal field distribution, lower maximum field strengths and hence reduced losses.