Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE)


  • Funding:

    German Research Foundation (DFG), Schwerpunktprogramm SPP 1655 – Wireless 100 Gb/s and beyond)

  • Project partner:

    Bergische Universität Wuppertal

  • Start:

    July 2013

  • End:

    September 2019

  • Contact:

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Zwick

Real100G.RF: A Fully Integrated, Multi-Purpose Radio Front-End for Wireless 100 Gbps

The project’s main objective is to leverage silicon-based economies-of-scale for a technology breakthrough in wireless multi-gigabit communication above 200 GHz. One of many promising applications is a short range, high-speed wireless data transmission of up to 100Gbps as in a data kiosk (see Figure 1), where people can load different large contents as e.g. movies onto their mobile electronic systems over a distance of a few meters in just seconds. A high carrier frequency above 200 GHz can be used to achieve an ultra-compact radio module with high data rates using a high absolute bandwidth of 25 GHz to 50 GHz, while keeping the relative bandwidth moderate (10 % to 20 %). This would allow the use of baseband circuitry with low complexity and low energy consumption. At millimeter-wave frequencies, a complete RF front-end can be realized on a single silicon chip and integrated into a single chip package together with an antenna array. The major challenge of this project besides realizing circuits and antennas on silicon in a package at these frequencies is to find concepts to overcome the very limited link budget. The Real100G.RF2 proposal will make the following major innovations available to the SPP community:

Low-cost, silicon based, surface-mount RF front-end modules enabling 100 Gbps wireless short-range communication. To achieve this goal the two groups from Prof. Pfeiffer and Prof. Zwick must closely work together.
Wideband millimeter wave circuit architectures in silicon process technologies for above 200 GHz (Group Pfeiffer)
Ultra-compact surface-mount radio module concepts with package integrated antennas including a complete PC board concept (Group Zwick)
New silicon based multi-antenna frontend concepts for high-speed data transmission with beam steering (both groups together)
Novel mm-wave-based front-end system architectures optimized for 100 Gbps data transmission with low energy consumption (both groups together)
System tests especially in cooperation with other SPP research groups (e.g. Real100G.COM) to demonstrate the feasibility of the idea and to verify the predicted overall performance (both groups together)

After the successful implementation of major circuit, antenna and packaging innovations at 200‑280 GHz in phase 1 the second project phase will be dedication to further optimization and integration of those components to finally achieve complete transceivers, which also allow system tests together with other research groups in the SPP. Comparing the ambitious and challenging project objectives with the state of the art, it becomes clear that the project would result in a vast step from the state of the art even if only a single channel transceiver chip is integrated with single element antennas. However, it is intended to evaluate different options for multi-channel transceivers for ultra-high data rate transmission and multi-antenna systems with a simple beam steering capability to overcome the very limited link budget.



Benjamin Göttel, Philipp Pahl, Stefan Malz, Thomas Zwick: IHP Design Contest "EM-Simulation of a power combining network for frequencies above 100 GHz", 2014.


Figure 1: Possible application scenario: A high-speed data transmission over a short range in between a data kiosk and a mobile electronic device

Selected Publications

Active multiple-feed on-chip radiator with in-antenna power-combining approach.
Goettel, B.; Müller, D.; Gulan, H.; Bhutani, A.; Zwick, T.
2016. 10th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, EuCAP 2016, Davos, Switzerland, 10 April 2016 through 15 April 2016, Art.Nr.: 7481996, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ. doi:10.1109/EuCAP.2016.7481996
Ultra Broadband Multiple Feed Antenna for Efficient on-Chip Power Combining.
Göttel, B.; Gulan, H.; Bhutani, A.; Pauli, M.; Zwick, T.
2015. 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation & USNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Vancouver, BC, 2015, 2037–2038, IEEE. doi:10.1109/APS.2015.7305408