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The main project objective is an improvement of input IP3 of at least 3dB over the whole frequency band compared to state-of-the-art mixers used in down-converters. Mixer linearity also strongly depends on in-band harmonics (i.e. -1xLO+RF for Ka-band mixer). Thus, a trade-off between linearity in terms of input IP3 and in-band harmonics needs to be found.
The main challenges will be the design of a very highly linear mixer boosting the state-of-the art IP3 by 3 dB.
The definition of the system architecture is part of the project starting phase. Therefore it is not fixed. Principally all mixer types are possible. During the project in the first design phase the most promising mixer approach will be found during a design study to find the most suitable architecture to reach the high IP3 required in this project.
The project will include two design iterations of the mixers. First a concepts review as basis of the preliminary and detailed mixer design. Then the designed chip component will be manufactured, evaluated and redesigned. Two manufacturing cycles are planned and followed by a system measurement of the Ka-band mixer.