Wireless wire - ultra-low-power and high-data-rate wireless communication systems

X. Li

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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With the rapid development of communication technologies, wireless personal-area communication systems gain momentum and become increasingly important. When the market gets gradually saturated and the technology becomes much more mature, new demands on higher throughput push the wireless communication further into the high-frequency and high-data-rate direction. For example, in the IEEE 802.15.3c standard, a 60-GHz physical layer is specified, which occupies the unlicensed 57 to 64 GHz band and supports gigabit links for applications such as wireless downloading and data streaming. Along with the progress, however, both wireless protocols and physical systems and devices start to become very complex. Due to the limited cut-off frequency of the technology and high parasitic and noise levels at high frequency bands, the power consumption of these systems, especially of the RF front-ends, increases significantly. The reason behind this is that RF performance does not scale with technology at the same rate as digital baseband circuits. Based on the challenges encountered, the wireless-wire system is proposed for the millimeter wave high-data-rate communication. In this system, beamsteering directional communication front-ends are used, which confine the RF power within a narrow beam and increase the level of the equivalent isotropic radiation power by a factor equal to the number of antenna elements. Since extra gain is obtained from the antenna beamsteering, less front-end gain is required, which will reduce the power consumption accordingly. Besides, the narrow beam also reduces the interference level to other nodes. In order to minimize the system average power consumption, an ultra-low power asynchronous duty-cycled wake-up receiver is added to listen to the channel and control the communication modes. The main receiver is switched on by the wake-up receiver only when the communication is identified while in other cases it will always be in sleep mode with virtually no power consumed. Before transmitting the payload, the event-triggered transmitter will send a wake-up beacon to the wake-up receiver. As long as the wake-up beacon is longer than one cycle of the wake-up receiver, it can be captured and identified. Furthermore, by adopting a frequency-sweeping injection locking oscillator, the wake-up receiver is able to achieve good sensitivity, low latency and wide bandwidth simultaneously. In this way, high-data-rate communication can be achieved with ultra-low average power consumption. System power optimization is achieved by optimizing the antenna number, data rate, modulation scheme, transceiver architecture, and transceiver circuitries with regards to particular application scenarios. Cross-layer power optimization is performed as well. In order to verify the most critical elements of this new approach, a W-band injection-locked oscillator and the wake-up receiver have been designed and implemented in standard TSMC 65-nm CMOS technology. It can be seen from the measurement results that the wake-up receiver is able to achieve about -60 dBm sensitivity, 10 mW peak power consumption and 8.5 µs worst-case latency simultaneously. When applying a duty-cycling scheme, the average power of the wake-up receiver becomes lower than 10 µW if the event frequency is 1000 times/day, which matches battery-based or energy harvesting-based wireless applications. A 4-path phased-array main receiver is simulated working with 1 Gbps data rate and on-off-keying modulation. The average power consumption is 10 µW with 10 Gb communication data per day.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Baltus, Peter G.M., Promotor
  • van Roermund, Arthur, Promotor
  • Milosevic, Dusan, Copromotor
Award date29 Sept 2011
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-2548-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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