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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Being Wireless @ 60GHz


clip_image001[9]The new technology, being used in every field of human life has become indispensable and scientists are constantly working on improving the existing technology. The discovery of the use of blue tooth as early as 1990s lead to the development of Wi-Fi and IEEE 802.11, the latest of the series is ultra wideband systems. The most important use of having these technologies is the decreased need of cables and wires to connect electronic equipments, and the increased speed at which transmission can take place. Even with so much speed and bandwidth at hand, scientists are looking for options to utilize even more bandwidth.

Scientists are exploring all the available possibilities to acquire more bandwidth, now has turned their attention to infra red light. As of now, this new technology is used in electronic equipments requiring remote control. There have been not much research in this field till now, but situation has changed, with studies to utilize 60GHz is under way.


Along with this, study on semiconductors is also in progress. Use of silicon chips instead of the gallium-arsenide semiconductors which are used presently is being considered. This would be more cost effective and if the designs are successful, the electronic equipments would be working much faster.

In addition to the increased speed, the size of the chips and antennas also can be decreased, with the help of this new technology. The antennas and transceivers can be put together, as the size of the antennas decrease. This also would lead to the lack of need of cables to transfer the data from the antenna to the chips and from chip to chip. Also, the antistatic devices used during assembly to prevent the electrostatic discharge, can be avoided as there are no more open outputs or inputs.


With every new technology, difficulties also appear. The 60GHz wave gets obstructed by any object in its path, it also travels proportionately to the distance between the transmitter and the antenna. This would considerably decrease the power transmitted by the wave, as it reaches the antenna.

Scientists are working to solve these problems and some have come up. Some of the suggestions include using high power, use of multiple transceivers etc. The use of multiple transceivers is considered a good option, but to make it possible, the design of the transceiver would have to be changed. The transceiver which is used at present might be inadequate to meet the increased demands. And the cost of manufacturing these transceivers also has to be considered.

There are bipolar transmitters offering good speed, but at increased cost of production and there are CMOS chips with low speed and low manufacturing cost. Engineers are debating the use and disadvantages of both these. They aim at improving the CMOS chips.

Operating the technique might be difficult, but not impossible. Scientists are also considering the use of 40GHz along with 60GHz.

The use of adaptive antennas is also under evaluation. These would create a beam which would be directly received, considered a solution of the loss of power occurring at the present stage. In this new technology, a lot of emitters are to be used to reduce the loss of power. If this works out, more energy efficient antennas would be manufactured. At the same time, off chip antennas are also under consideration. This would decrease the amount of power lost after it is received at the antenna.

By Amit Samantaray


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