An Ultra-Compact Low-Power THz Radio SoC with On-Chip Antenna and Energy Harvesting

Period of Performance: 11/16/2016 - 11/15/2017

$505K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Digital Analog Integration, Inc.
1634 Presley Court Array
Auburn, AL 36830
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Institution POC

Abstract

There is an unmet demand for ultra-low-power, ultra-compact and low-cost radios to address emerging sensing and communication needs for military and commercial applications such as IoT/IoE. To overcome the limitations in existing bulky and power hungry radios, we propose a disruptive solution by integration of a nano-scaled THz transceiver, on-chip antenna, and energy harvesting circuits in a form-factor smaller than 1 cubic mm. The proposed THz radio can be reconfigured as a harmonic oscillator transmitter or a super-harmonic regenerative receiver. The information on received data and its power level is embedded in the oscillator transient waveform that can be detected and digitized using high performance time-to-digital converts (TDCs). This THz transceiver SoC substantially reduces the size and power while ensuring a data rate over 10Mbit/s for one meter range using OOK modulation. A multi-feed on-chip antenna performs on-chip THz power combining, splitting, and radiation, which further reduces the overall system size. Various energy harvesting technologies and their integration with the CMOS THz radio chip will be explored for integration with the transceiver circuits. The collaborative team includes Digital Analog Integration and Georgia Institute of Technology and offers related technical expertise, successful track records, and necessary facilities for the proposed research.