Millimeter-Wave Transceivers for High Volume Applications
Prof. Thomas Zwick
- Presentation Abstract
The enormous technological progress accomplished over the last decades facilitates the utilization of millimeter-wave (mmw) frequencies for mass products like automotive radars, industrial sensors, high-speed data communication links or medical applications. The main enablers are the semiconductor technologies with constantly improving cut-off frequencies reaching several hundred GHz. The dominant limiting factor though for the mass production of low-cost mmw systems above 100 GHz is that, suitable packaging technologies are not yet finally available. The major issue for the packaging is to find a proper way to get all signals in and out of the package, since at mmw frequencies interconnects are very difficult to realize and very lossy. One way out of the dilemma is to integrate the complete transceiver together with the antenna into one single package. Compactness is the key to low losses in mmw interconnects. This also means that the antenna must be integrated into the package.
In this talk, a short overview on the packaging and antenna integration concepts for mmw transceivers is provided together with several particular approaches. The different challenges for antenna integration and interconnects can be found in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. In the second part, complete solutions are shown where in one case the mmw frontend is integrated together with off-chip antennas in a molded 8 mm by 8 mm QFN package  and in another case an on-chip antenna together with a lens is mounted in an 8 mm by 8 mm QFN package as well . An application example of a complete radar system with the packaged transceiver soldered on a baseband PCB with microprocessor and lens above the chip to yield a narrow beam is shown. The complete module has a size of 35 mm x 35 mm x 25 mm and allows distance measurements with a high accuracy . An outlook on packages for high data rate transmission conclude the talk .
Thomas Zwick (S’95–M’00–SM’06–F’18) received the Dipl.-Ing. (M.S.E.E.) and the Dr.-Ing. (Ph.D.E.E.) degrees from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany, in 1994 and 1999, respectively. From 1994 to 2001 he was a research assistant at the Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik und Elektronik (IHE) at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany. In February 2001, he joined IBM as research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA.
From October 2004 to September 2007, Thomas Zwick was with Siemens AG, Lindau, Germany. During this period, he managed the RF development team for automotive radars. In October 2007, he became a full professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. He is the director of the Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE) at the KIT. He is author or co-author of over 300 technical papers and 20 patents. His research topics include wave propagation, stochastic channel modeling, channel measurement techniques, material measurements, microwave techniques, millimeter wave antenna design, wireless communication and radar system design.
Thomas Zwick’s research team received over 10 best paper awards on international conferences. He served on the technical program committees (TPC) of several scientific conferences. In 2013 Dr. Zwick was general chair of the international Workshop on Antenna Technology (iWAT 2013) in Karlsruhe and in 2015 of the IEEE MTT-S International Conference on Microwaves for Intelligent Mobility (ICMIM) in Heidelberg. He also was TPC chair of the European Microwave Conference (EuMC) 2013 and General TPC Chair of the European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2017. From 2008 until 2015 he has been president of the Institute for Microwaves and Antennas (IMA). T. Zwick became selected as a distinguished IEEE microwave lecturer for the 2013 to 2015 period with his lecture on "QFN Based Packaging Concepts for Millimeter-Wave Transceivers". Since 2017 he is member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2018 Thomas Zwick became appointed IEEE Fellow. In 2019 he became the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters.
- T. Zwick, S. Beer, "QFN based Packaging Concepts for Millimeter-Wave Transceivers," IEEE International Workshop on Antenna Technology (iWAT), Mar. 2012.
- S. Beer, H. Gulan, M. Pauli, C. Rusch, G. Kunkel, T. Zwick, "122-GHz Chip-to-Antenna Wire Bond Interconnect with High Repeatability", in IEEE Microwave Symposium Digest (MTT), 2012.
- S. Beer, C. Rusch, H. Gulan, B. Göttel, M.G. Girma, J. Hasch, W. Winkler, W. Debski, T. Zwick, "An Integrated 122-GHz Antenna Array with Wire Bond Compensation for SMT Radar Sensors," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 61, no. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 5976-5983.
- S. Beer, C. Rusch, B. Goettel, H. Gulan, M. Zwyssig, G. Kunkel, T. Zwick, "A Self-Compensating 130-GHz Wire Bond Interconnect with 13% Bandwidth," IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium, July 2013.
- S. Beer, H. Gulan, C. Rusch, T. Zwick, "Coplanar 122-GHz Antenna Array with Air Cavity Reflector for Integration in Plastic Packages", IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, vol. 11, Jan. 2012, pp. 160-163.
- B. Goettel, P. Pahl, C. Kutschker, S. Malz, U. Pfeiffer, T. Zwick, "Active Multiple Feed On-Chip Antennas With Efficient In-Antenna Power Combining Operating at 200–320 GHz", IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 65, no. 2, Feb. 2017.
- T. Zwick, F. Boes, A. Bhutani, B. Goettl, M. Pauli, "Pea-Sized mmW Transceivers", IEEE Microwave Magazine, Sept. 2017, pp. 79-89.
- B. Goettel, W. Winkler, A. Bhutani, F. Boes, M. Pauli, T. Zwick, "Packaging Solution for a Millimeter-Wave System-on-Chip Radar", IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, vol. 8, no. 1, Jan 2018, pp. 73-81.
- M. Pauli, B. Göttel, S. Scherr, A. Bhutani, S. Ayhan, W. Winkler, T. Zwick, "Miniaturized Millimeter-Wave Radar Sensor for High Accuracy Applications", invited paper, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 65, no. 5, May 2017.
- J. Eisenbeis, F. Boes, B. Goettel, S. Malz, U. Pfeiffer, T. Zwick, "30 Gbps Wireless Data Transmission with Fully Integrated 240 GHz Silicon Based Transmitter", IEEE 17th Topical Meeting on Silicon Monolithic Integrated Circuits in RF Systems (SiRF), 2017, pp. 33-36.