Project C03 - Transceiver Front-End Circuits for THz MIMO Radar 

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Nils Pohl, RUB InSys

MARIE targets future advanced wireless localization and exploration systems for frequenciesfrom 250 GHz with potentials into the THz regime, which strongly depends on capabilities of new transceiver concepts. The visions of this project are compact, energy and cost-efficient front-ends, which will be a key component for future high resolution (both range resolution and angular resolution) measurement systems. Therefore, modern SiGe technologies, which allow a high level of integration and antennas on the same chip, will be used in this project for demonstrating MIMO transceiver circuits. The intended operating frequency is 250 GHz (and even higher) with a signal bandwidth B > 50 GHz. For providing angular resolution, MIMO systems with multiple independent receive and transmit channels for simultaneous operation on the same chip will be the central goal of the project. In a long-term perspective this can enable miniaturized low-power sensors, which can characterize the complete environment in a high-resolution 3D-approach. Fundamental MIMO processing will be implemented in order to evaluate the hardware and provide measurement data within MARIE. In addition to the SiGe-based approach, coherent signal generation using heterointegrated circuits with injection-locked resonant tunnelling diode oscillators will be investigated in cooperation with the project C01.

The goal of this project C03 is to investigate fully-integrated multi-functional 250 GHz transceiver and explore the system limits of MIMO for THz, while the central research challenge of the project can be summarized as follows:

  • Generation of coherent wideband signals for 250 GHz MIMO using SiGe chips
  • Investigation of MIMO approaches with high dynamic range (time-division, phaseinversion, frequency offset ramp)
  • Hetero-co-integration of injection-locked RTD-oscillators with SiGe-driver-circuits

In summary, C03 provides a required compact 250 GHz transceiver with a steerable beam for the MARIE consortium based on an energy-efficient integrated SiGe chip for highresolution imaging and material characterization and consequently contributes effectively to the vision of MARIE.