DEEP INTEGRATION: Fusing Antennas with Electronics

Authors: Prof. Rob Maaskant

Source: FERMAT, Volume 27, Article 1, May.-Jun., 2018

Abstract: The direct integration of antennas with nonlinear electronics dates back to the late 50s, where transistorized antennas were proposed and later realized, even arrays thereof, think e.g. of the so-termed antennafier arrays. They were typically constructed at low frequencies using discrete semiconductor devices. Nowadays, one develops advanced monolithic integrated circuits (ICs) operating at mm-wave frequencies. This is possible thanks to the great strides made in photolithographic processes, the advent of powerful computers in conjunction with fast circuit and multiscale electromagnetics solvers using highly realistic semiconductor device models. This worldwide trend has opened-up new research avenues; concepts of the past are being re-thought in the light of these new technological developments with the objective to overcome the wireless system integration challenges of the future. DEEP INTEGRATION is the ultimate abstraction of spatially integrating small-scale electronics with large-scale antennas using quasi-optical methods. It promises to address the challenges of the future. Multiscale numerical synthesis techniques must be developed. This presentation identifies some of these challenges, discusses some of the lessons that we have learned, introduces the concept of DEEP INTEGRATION, and provides a very simple example of a Deeply Integrated antenna to showcase its principles.

Index Terms: Deep Integration, active integrated antennas, millimeter-wave antennas, spatial power combining, contactless connections, characteristic basis function method

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DEEP INTEGRATION: Fusing Antennas with Electronics