This project focuses on the design of a transceiver for M2M applications at Ku-band. For the transmit part a fully integrated transmitter IC that directly converts an analogue baseband IQ data stream to a Ku-band feed is developed. The receiver part of the system is built around existing LNB components, with an IF L-band output to connect to standard baseband modems.
Architecture of the fully integrated Ku-band transmitter IC.
The main challenge of the project is to develop the low-power fully integrated transmitter IC that directly converts an analogue baseband IQ data stream to Ku-band, with sufficient output power to directly connect to the feed of the transmitter.
High-level of functional integration can reduce the cost and design effort of future transceiver front-ends, enabling easier access for product manufacturers to enter the M2M market.
The integrated transmitter RF IC features an on-chip integrated PLL to generate the LO signals for the up-conversion mixers. A standard digital SPI interface in included for control of the chip. The chip is highly configurable to support multiple baseband designs.
The first phase of the project deals with the high-level performance analysis and architecture trade-off, which will result in a consolidated set of requirements for the transmitter IC. This IC is further developed, manufactured and demonstrated in phase 2 of this project.
The project has been successfully completed by demonstrating the transmitter performance at breadboard level. This chip can be applied for demonstration purposes in the development of M2M front-ends. Pushing a further product development of such an integrated chip will require to have a clear view on the commercial opportunities, expected market grow and associated customer needs.
The transmitter chip, packaged in a low-cost plastic 40-pin QFN package, mounted on the demonstrator board.