Trends in circuit innovation and microelectronics from ISSCC 2018

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here.

At this year’s IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), we saw how our growing demands for higher data rates and more efficient bandwidth utilization are being met with new advances in millimeter-wave radios for 5G networks, and silicon-photonic circuits for high-speed interconnect. Here is a quick look at just five of the hundreds of new research innovations presented at the conference this year.

  1. Shahriar Shahramian from Nokia Bell Labs demonstrated a 10Gb/s 384-element phased-array for the 80-to-100GHz band using die-on-PCB and antenna-on-PCB techniques. Thanks to the more efficient use of millimeter-wave spectrum, integrated phased-array antenna solutions are driving down the operational costs for future Zetabyte/year applications such as 8K video cloud services.

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2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
4.6: A Fully Integrated Scalable W-Band Phased-Array Module with Integrated Antennas, Self-Alignment and Self-Test

  1. Tirdad Sowlati from Broadcom Ltd. presented the first full-system CMOS phased-array chipset capable of delivering up to 5Gb/s for low-cost wireless backhaul using on the IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig) standard. When combined with existing high-speed fiber-optic networks, short-distance line-of-sight wireless links can be massively deployed in metropolitan areas to deliver multi-Gb/s data rates over the last 100 meters between a mobile user and existing city infrastructure.

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2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
4.2: A 60GHz 144-Element Phased-Array Transceiver with 51dBm Maximum EIRP
and ±60° Beam Steering for Backhaul Application

  1. In many urban environments, line-of-sight communications are hindered by buildings, structures, and moving vehicles. To maximize data rates in non-line-of-sight channels, researchers from the University of Michigan and Lund University, Sweden, presented a 1.8Gb/s link-adaptive massive MIMO detector, which exploits multipath signal propagation using 128 transmit and 16 receive MIMO antennas. The system supports up to 16 users and 256-QAM signals.

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2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
13.6: A 1.8Gb/s 70.6pJ/b 128×16 Link-Adaptive Near-Optimal Massive MIMO Detector in 28nm UTBB-FDSOI

  1. Silicon photonics continue to be a disruptive technology in the transition from 100Gb/s-Ethernet to 400Gb/s-Ethernet in both the datacenter and 3D stacked-die chip-scale networks. To accommodate data rates up to 20Tb/s in datacenter switches, A.V. Krishnamoorthy from Axalume discussed opportunities to implement co-packaged silicon-photonic optical modules and electrical transceivers to support the migration from on-board PCB traces to chip-to-chip optical fiber interconnect. Such advances would improve energy efficiency and enable higher data rates in datacenter switches, which are currently heavily constrained by stringent power and heat budgets.

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2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
16.1: Optical Interconnects in Computing and Switching Systems: the Anatomy of a 20Tb/s Switch Card

  1. Meanwhile, Yvain Thonnart from CEA-LETI demonstrated a silicon-photonic transceiver for short-range communication using microring resonant cavities, achieving 1Tb/s/mm2 communication density in a die-to-die network-on-chip. Such techniques are paving the way for highly-integrated single-chip systems to support the growing data rate and energy efficiency demands of the Zetabyte era.

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2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
21.4: A 10Gb/s Si-Photonic Transceiver with 150μW 120μs-Lock-Time Digitally Supervised Analog Microring Wavelength Stabilization for 1Tb/s/mm2 Die-to-Die Optical Networks

Guest post by Dr. Mario Milicevic, IEEE Member and Staff Communication Systems Engineer with MaxLinear Inc. in Irvine, CA.

 

Written by IEEE on March 2, 2018