A Review of Integrated Systems and Components for 6G Wireless Communication in the D-Band

Maiwald T, Li T, Hotopan GR, Kolb K, Disch K, Potschka J, Haag A, Dietz M, Debaillie B, Zwick T, Aufinger K, Ferling D, Weigel R, Visweswaran A (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Pages Range: 1-37

DOI: 10.1109/JPROC.2023.3240127


The evolution of wireless communication points to increasing demands on throughput for data-intensive applications in modern society. Integrated millimeter-wave systems with electrical beam-steering capabilities are promising candidates for wireless technologies of the future and are currently the subject of widespread academic and commercial research. The $D$ -band, ranging from 110–170 GHz, offers high aggregate bandwidths (BWs), low atmospheric absorption, and multi-GHz operation at amenable fractional BWs. It, therefore, has the potential to foster efficient, highly integrated wireless-communication systems with data rates approaching 100 Gb/s. This article reviews all aspects of hardware integration against the backdrop of an extensive literature review and outlines the challenges and possible solutions for practical 6G wireless systems in the $D$ -band. To this end, this article covers a number of related topics in depth, which includes system definition, possible radio architectures and array configurations, the scope and potential of integrated circuit (IC) technologies, the design and characterization of key circuit blocks, advances in antenna and packaging technologies for high-frequency systems, and an overview of measurement techniques currently employed at $D$ -band frequencies. A system-level study based on radio-link simulations of different single-carrier quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) schemes is presented, which quantifies that the impact physical nonidealities, such as signal-to-noise ratio, phase noise, intermodulation distortion, and amplitude and phase imbalances in quadrature signal paths, have on bit-error rates in broadband $D$ -band communication systems. This is followed by a comparative assessment of different arrayed-system configurations that include traditional phased arrays, the use of polarization diversity for the transmission of different or identical data streams, and multiple input multiple output (MIMO) operation. The article also presents an overview of possible transceiver architectures for implementing beam-steering arrays and an outline of the associated tradeoffs. The beam-squinting effect seen in large arrays is also investigated in detail. On the implementation front, we present a comparison between different integrated-circuit technologies for high-frequency applications. These include CMOS and SiGe bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) in silicon technologies, and MOSFETs, HBTs, and HEMTs in III–V technologies, such as InP and GaAs. Implementation challenges are then addressed, and these include the design of high-frequency circuits in the latest IC technologies, current advances in antenna and packaging technologies, and emerging solutions for hybrid integration. The article also details the design and characterization of critical $D$ -band transceiver circuit blocks, namely, power and low-noise amplifiers, mixers, phase shifters, passive components for quadrature-phase generation, and radiators exploring hybrid antennas, which we have developed over the course of the past five years. These results compliment the literature survey with comparisons with state-of-the-art designs and are applied to radio-link simulations to predict the performance of practicable wireless links.

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Maiwald, T., Li, T., Hotopan, G.R., Kolb, K., Disch, K., Potschka, J.,... Visweswaran, A. (2023). A Review of Integrated Systems and Components for 6G Wireless Communication in the D-Band. Proceedings of the IEEE, 1-37. https://doi.org/10.1109/JPROC.2023.3240127


Maiwald, Tim, et al. "A Review of Integrated Systems and Components for 6G Wireless Communication in the D-Band." Proceedings of the IEEE (2023): 1-37.

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