SITKA - Development of Transceiver ASIC for DTH Ka/Ku band terminals

Status date
Activity Code
  • The primary objective of the SITKA project is the development of a Ka-band transceiver RF front end ASIC, intended for use in DTH satellite ground terminals, and situated within the Satellite Transceiver module. The ASIC will support GEO, MEO and LEO applications.
  • The highly integrated ASIC will be designed to deliver more functionality for less power, and at a lower cost than current generation products, by taking full advantage of advanced RF CMOS silicon technology.


Technical challenges include the design of

  • efficient Ka band pre-amplifiers in CMOS technology
  • sufficient signal isolation on a single chip
  • adequate phase noise for Ka-band operation

The SITKA single chip RF transceiver solution

  • reduces component count and terminal cost
  • uses less power to achieve the same RF functionality
  • allows higher data rates due to Ka-band carrier capacity

Additionally, Ka-band operation facilitates terminal products in new and emerging markets.


The Sitka transceiver ASIC is designed to support frequency up- and down-conversion from I, Q baseband frequencies to Ka-band satellite carrier frequencies.

The ASIC supports

  • dual polarisation
  • full duplex Ka operation
  • selection of carrier frequencies
  • external programmability via SPI

A software GUI, source code and reference design PCB will be available to facilitate customer evaluation and product design in. 

System Architecture

The key architectural features of the ASIC include

  • Homodyne transmit and receive
  • IF output for receive signals
  • Trim-ability / optimization capability for all critical circuits
  • Loopback for self-calibration

The project addresses the Technology Phase development and validation of a Ka-band Satellite Transceiver ASIC prototype.

The project is partitioned into 4 phases with milestones as follows

PDR: specifications and schematic design complete

CDR: mask / GDS design data complete

TRR: test hw/sw developed and prototypes fabricated

FDR: prototype characterisation reports generated.

Current status
  • System and ASIC Specifications completed and released
  • Schematic database completed
  • Mask layout database in development
  • First silicon on track for Q2, 2019
Prime Contractor