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60 GHz Technology for Gbps WLAN and WPAN From Theory to Practice by Alberto Valdes-Garcia, Pengfei Xia, Su-Khiong Yong

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6

60 GHz Radio Implementation in Silicon

Alberto Valdes-Garcia

6.1 Introduction

In recent years, the design of active and passive mm-wave components in general – and in the 60 GHz band in particular – has become a center of gravity for academic and industrial research. Within a period of six years, from the first 60 GHz building blocks integrated in silicon introduced in 2004 [1] to today, this field of research has quickly expanded, resulting in multiple examples of fully integrated radios and phased arrays.

Even though research and engineering activities involving mm-wave frequencies span almost a century, the recent availability of silicon processes that allow radio implementation at 60 GHz (90 nm CMOS and 0.13 μm SiGe BiCMOS) is arguably the single most important factor in fueling 60 GHz standardization and investment activities. The economic and technical advantages that only silicon integration can offer are expected to take 60 GHz technology to usage and business volumes comparable to those currently enjoyed by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies.

It is therefore relevant to the design of 60 GHz systems to understand the capabilities and limitations that a silicon implementation of the physical layer (PHY) entails. Rather than discussing 60 GHz circuit design techniques in detail (which would require several chapters to cover material presented in depth elsewhere [2]), this chapter presents an overview of the current solutions, techniques and tradeoffs involved in the implementation ...

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