A Wideband Sliding Correlator based Channel Sounder in 65 nm CMOS: An Evaluation Board Design

28 Sep 2020  ·  Dipankar Shakya, Ting Wu, Theodore S. Rappaport ·

Wide swaths of bandwidth at millimeter-wave (mmWave) and Terahertz (THz) frequencies stimulate diverse applications in wireless sensing, imaging, position location, cloud computing, and much more. These emerging applications motivate wireless communications hardware to operate with multi Gigahertz (GHz) bandwidth, at nominal costs, minimal size, and power consumption. Channel sounding system implementations currently used to study and measure wireless channels utilize numerous commercially available components from multiple manufacturers that result in a complex and large assembly with many costly and fragile cable interconnections between the constituents and commonly achieve a system bandwidth under one GHz. This paper presents an evaluation board (EVB) design that features a sliding correlator-based channel sounder with 2 GHz null-to-null RF bandwidth in a single monolithic integrated circuit (IC) fabricated in 65 nm CMOS technology. The EVB landscape provides necessary peripherals for signal interfacing, amplification, buffering, and enables integration into both the transmitter and receiver of a channel sounding system, thereby reducing complexity, size, and cost through integrated design. The channel sounder IC on the EVB is the worlds first to report gigabit-per-second baseband operation using low-cost CMOS technology, allowing the global research community to now have an inexpensive and compact channel sounder system with nanosecond time resolution capability for the detection of multipath signals in a wireless channel.

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