This page contains a summary of the most relevant completed projects.
FLEXWIN proposes a significant advance towards smart RF microsystems by combining 1.) an RFMEMS switch process monolithically integrated with a Si/SiGe BiCMOS process, 2.) highly reconfigurable mm-wave building blocks, able to be used over a broad frequency range and for different applications, 3.) a new RF-system design paradigm built around the concepts of reusability, multifunctionality and reconfigurability and 4.) environmental sensing and control built into multifunctional RF ICs with digital control.As a first demonstrator of the proposed highly innovative FLEXWIN technology platform, a smart reflectarray architecture for broadband communication links will be realized. In fact, the core FLEXWIN ICs will be used as intelligent pixels providing spatial power combining with full individual amplitude and phase settings of each pixel in transmit and receive mode controlled by a serial bus. Together with the monolithic integration of the environmental sensors on the very same IC, it dramatically reduces the antennas control system complexity providing significant advances in RF frontend adaptability.The validity of the design paradigm will be further explored in two reconfigurable IC demonstrators using the RF MEMS SiGe BiCMOS technology and deliberately spaced in the radio spectrum: reconfigurable “commodity” building blocks up to 5 GHz, addressing mobile and wireless data applications, and for the 30-64 GHz range, addressing point-to-point, and emerging wireless LAN applications.Overall, FLEXWIN will demonstrate enhanced and smart capabilities of mm-wave systems due to built-in intelligence allowing convenient and flexible control of important parameters, and the use in harsh environments due to built-in sensing and autonomous parameter adjustment in each module. Further, it will establish reconfigurable multi-functional millimetre-wave ICs as an off-the-shelf commodity which will ease mm-wave system implementation and shorten the time-to-market.
 A. Shamsafar et al., «A Four-Port SiGe BiCMOS Duplexer for Ka-Band SatCom on the Move User Terminals», IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, vol. 25, n. 11, pagg. 733–735, 2015, doi: 10.1109/LMWC.2015.2479854. A. I. Sandhu, E. Arnieri, G. Amendola, L. Boccia, E. Meniconi, e V. Ziegler, «Radiating Elements for Shared Aperture Tx/Rx Phased Arrays at K/Ka Band», IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 64, n. 6, pagg. 2270–2282, 2016, doi: 10.1109/TAP.2016.2552550. F. Tabarani, L. Boccia, T. Purtova, A. Shamsafar, H. Schumacher, e G. Amendola, «0.25-um SiGe BiCMOS System-on-Chip for K-/Ka-Band Satellite Communication Transmit–Receive Active Phased Arrays», IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 66, n. 5, pagg. 2325–2339, mag. 2018, doi: 10.1109/TMTT.2017.2774804.
- Airbus Defence and Space GmbH
- UNIVERSITA’ DELLA CALABRIA, Italy
- UNIVERSITY OF SURREY, UK
- UNIVERSITAET ULM, Germany
- MIPOT SPA, Italy
- ERICSSON AB, Sweden
- IHP Microelectronics, Germany
EU-FP7-ICT – Specific Programme “Cooperation”: Information and communication technologies
DIFFERENT aims at building the foundation of a new generation of space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with a significant reduction in cost, size, mass and power consumption, and enhanced performances with respect to systems currently available. The final product will be a compact, dual-band, dual-polarization radar with DBF capabilities. DIFFERENT will achieve these results setting up a consortium between SMEs and research institutions to develop and to exchange technologies and know how to improve competitiveness of SMEs.
1) DIFFERENT proposes advances towards space-borne radars building a low-cost, compact SAR by combining
a) a new concept of multi-static dual-band (Ka/X) dual-polarization passive SAR having digital beamforming (DBF);
b) the development of DBF BICMOS chip and of SiGe MMIC to enhance radar operations and to allow an unprecedented level of integration;
c) the development of a dual-band (Ka/X) dual-polarized low-cost array antenna which will have a shared apertur;
d) integration technologies that will make use of materials new to the space sector and that will ensure the high level of integration to reduce costs and weight of the overall payload.
2) DIFFERENT targets the stable integration of SMEs into the Earth Observation (EO) value chain by developing know how in the following key areas which are recognized as strategic for the future scientific and commercial missions
a. SiGe BiCMOS integrated circuits
b. Advanced integration techniques
c. Digital Beam Forming
3) DIFFERENT will open to SMEs new possibilities in the entire space sector developing a distributed SAR space system fulfilling governmental and commercial needs.
4) The DIFFERENT consortium is tailored to sustain the involved SMEs towards the acquisition of a leading role in the EO value chain. SMEs central position in DIFFERENT is supported by a national space agency (DLR), by a research institute and technology provider (IHP) and by two academic partners (UNICAL / KENT)
TowARds Advanced bicmos NanoTechnology platforms for rf and thz applicatiOns (TARANTO) targets to break the technological barriers to the development of the next BiCMOS technology platforms, allowing the improvement of the performance of the HBT (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors) with a much higher level of integration. This new generation of transistors HBT will be a key factor to meet the needs of high-speed communications systems and high data rate required for the integration of heterogeneous intelligent systems as well as for intelligent mobility systems that will be used in future fully automated transport systems. The main objectives of this project will be to develop transistors HBT offering high maximum frequency (Fmax: 600GHz) built to very high density CMOS processes: 130 / 90nm for IFX, 55 / 28nm to ST, while IHP will work on the project to achieve maximum frequencies of 700GHz remaining compatible with IFX and ST BiCMOS processes.
The project consortium gathers the main European players in the value chain for these applications at very high frequencies, from laboratories to industrial users, thus ensuring the highest scientific level and the ability to validate the work carried out on appropriate demonstrators.
H2020-EU.188.8.131.52. – ECSEL