note: This article is by Danny Elad, Manager of Analog and Mixed Signal
Technologies at IBM Research – Haifa.
integrated circuits, and high-speed streaming are all concepts that refer to
traffic – mobile device data traffic, to be precise.
As the number of
smartphones and tablets increases alongside a host of new cloud services,
bandwidth traffic is becoming a big problem, causing the data transmission to
slow down. With massive amounts of multimedia content and growing demands for
4G and soon 5G streaming, the current infrastructure just isn’t set up to meet
the demands. By the end of this year, the number of mobile-connected devices
the number of people on earth.
IBM researchers in Haifa have developed the first low-cost
Silicon Germanium (SiGe)
complete transceiver chipset solution to support the coming high bandwidth
requirements for wireless backhaul data transfer. In other words, these chips
can move data over the network faster than today’s infrastructure, and keep up
with mobile device growth for years to come.
|Dr. Danny Elad|
Several years ago, when
the radio frequencies used to channel data from handheld devices to wireless
radio base stations, things started to get overcrowded. At that time, a new
range of frequencies, known as E-Band, were defined to support larger bandwidths.
The goal of E-band for
wireless communication was to find a lower cost alternative to optical fiber, but
one which did not require large investments in infrastructure, like laying new fiber
cable. However, E-Band is based on still-expensive Galium Arsenide (GaAs)
technology, and until now there has not been a highly integrated low cost
solution that telcos can use for cell to cell communication.
- A Single Chip Solution
IBM’s new SiGe chips could
soon replace more expensive off-the-shelf components used today, like GaAs. Silicon offers a lower cost
solution that incorporates a high level of integration to support more advanced
transceiver functionality. The new chipset offers broadband wireless
communications in the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz E-Band millimeter-wave frequency
range supporting a high modulation scheme of 64QAM.
E-band is used inside the cellular network and allows improved bandwidth between cells. In this way, our mobile devices, which communicate with those cells, can benefit from higher speed performance
|Tiny E-Band chip shown near an Israeli Shekel|
(about the size of a dime)
SiGe offers a single
chip platform with the functionality normally provided by several chips,
including mixed signal, digital, and analog circuits and is therefore a very
competitive solution for mobile service providers to enable ultra-high-speed
companies like BridgeWave
have already turned to IBM Research to license these E-Band solutions.
Labels: bandwidth, chipset, Danny Elad, E-Band, eband, handheld, IBM Research - Haifa, mobile, SiGE, Silicon Germanium, wireless