Mixed-Signal Baseband IC Cuts Consumption Of Power At 60 GHz


lot of attention is being given to the 7-GHz bandwidth available in the 60-GHz band—largely with the hope of achieving multi-gigabit-per-second wireless links. But today’s 60-GHz radios often are modeled on their lower-frequency brethren. For instance, they rely on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), which demands relatively high circuit and signal-processing complexity. This results in system partitioning and baseband power dissipation of roughly 1 W. A more optimal approach is the low-power, mixed-signal, adaptive 60-GHz baseband-radio integrated circuit (IC) that has been presented by Antoine Frappé from France’s IEMN-ISEN together with Chintan Thakkar, Lingkai Kong, Kwangmo Jung, and Elad Alon from the University of California at Berkeley.

This baseband device, which is implemented in 65-nm CMOS, operates at 10 Gb/s with a bit error rate (BER) of better than 10−12 while consuming either 53 mW (with adaptation on) or 45 mW (without adaptation). The key is its use of relatively low-dynamic-range analog signal processing. The baseband circuit integrates variable-gain amplifiers, an analog phase rotator, and more. The core signal-processing circuits consume just 29 mW. See "A 10 Gb/s 45 mW Adaptive 60 GHz Baseband in 65 nm CMOS," IEEE Journal Of Solid-State Circuits, April 2012, p. 952.

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