University of Oulu

A. Sethi et al., "Chip-to-Chip Interfaces for Large-Scale Highly Configurable mmWave Phased Arrays," in IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 58, no. 7, pp. 1987-2004, July 2023, doi: 10.1109/JSSC.2023.3273502.

Chip-to-chip interfaces for large-scale highly configurable mmWave phased arrays

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Author: Sethi, Alok1; Akbar, Rehman1; Hietanen, Mikko1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-13


This article presents a chip-to-chip (C2C) interface for constructing reconfigurable phased arrays to be used in fifth-generation (5G)/sixth-generation (6G) wireless systems. The C2C interface further facilitates building phased array panels by allowing the use of grid-based PCB routing, thus providing flexibility in the system design. An eight-element RFIC capable of handling two independent data-streams is fabricated using 45-nm CMOS technology. The RFIC incorporates four C2C interfaces operating at 27 GHz, two C2C interfaces operating at 9 GHz, and a complex baseband (BB) with single-sided bandwidth in excess of 400 MHz. The architecture is tested by flip-chip bonding two fabricated RFICs on an eight-layer Megtron 7 PCB. In this article, only the receiver path of the RFIC and the phased array is described. Performance of both the single RFIC and the combination using the 27-GHz C2C interface is demonstrated using conductive and over-the-air (OTA) measurements. OTA measurements are conducted using 5GNR FR2 OFDM waveforms with a signal bandwidth of up to 800 MHz. The measured RF to BB conversion gain for a single element is larger than 23 dB and the minimum measured noise figure (NF) is 6.2 dB. The nominal dc power consumed by the receiver per element per stream is 116.5 mW. The RFIC occupies a normalized area per element per data stream of 2.7 mm2. The RFIC is capable of supporting dual-polarized antennas or in a large-scale panel utilizing the same antenna elements to two independently weighted data streams as part of the hybrid beamforming architecture.

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Series: IEEE journal of solid-state circuits
ISSN: 0018-9200
ISSN-E: 1558-173X
ISSN-L: 0018-9200
Volume: 58
Issue: 7
Pages: 1987 - 2004
DOI: 10.1109/jssc.2023.3273502
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was supported in part by Nokia, in part by the Academy of Finland, 6G Flagship program under Grant 346208, in part by the Business Finland Projects NGmining under Grant 44049/31/2020, and in part by RFSampo under Grant 3071/31/2021.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 346208
Detailed Information: 346208 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see