Integrated radio ICs for low cost 60 GHz applications

April 18, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Hittite Microwave has announced a highly integrated HMC6000/6001 silicon transceiver chipset which targets 60 GHz applications such as: metrocell/picocell backhaul, WiGig (IEEE 802.11ad) multi-Gbps solutions including wireless cable replacement (HDMI, USB 3.0, DisplayPort), wireless docking stations, video/magazine kiosks and wireless sensors.

The chipset not only solves many of the key technical challenges encountered at millimeterwave frequencies, but also enables turnkey multi-Gbps communication links at 60 GHz. Low frequency baseband signals are directly translated to and from 60 GHz, minimizing the need for expensive or complex millimeterwave interconnection components on the printed circuit board.

The HMC6000 transmitter IC can translate analog baseband in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals to a selected channel in the 60 GHz band, requiring only an external crystal oscillator. It is fabricated with silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS semiconductor process technology. The transmitter IC provides differential analog I and Q input ports with DC coupling to enable cancellation of DC offsets and carrier feedthrough.

The HMC6000 includes a low phase noise frequency synthesizer for tuning across the 57 to 64 GHz band in 500 or 540 MHz steps (which represent one quarter of the IEEE channel spacing) depending upon the reference input frequency. It features as much as 38 dB gain (with 17 dB gain-control range) to achieve up to +12 dBm linear output power and +17 dBm saturated output power. The differential RF output provides a low-loss RF transition with high output efficiency.

The HMC6001 receiver IC operates with single-ended input signals from a selected channel in the 60 GHz band and downconverts them to differential analog I and Q baseband signals. The receiver chip includes all necessary frequency generation, gain control, and filtering to support RF signal bandwidths of up to 1.8 GHz. The receiver chip contains programmable baseband filters to set the highpass corner frequency for removal of residual DC offset and local oscillator (LO) feedthrough signals and to set the lowpass frequency for lower bandwidth signals. The HMC6001 exhibits a 6 dB noise figure at the maximum gain setting and provides a 65 dB gain control range in 1 dB steps.

Both the HMC6000 and HMC6001 feature integrated phase noise of -25 dBc at the 1.76