& Partners







Project Presentation


The EU funded FP7 project GigaRadio undertakes research into technologies for wireless high speed data transfer between devices at 60GHz. Each of the project participants has complementary capability within different elements of wireless transceiver design. ECIT is a recognised leader in microwave front-end and antenna circuit design. Infineon is a well-known pioneer in novel semiconductor materials, devices and packaging for wireless communications. DecaWave has extensive knowledge of the baseband and Media Access Control (MAC) architectures of short range wireless communication systems and was an active participant in the IEEE standardisation activity for 60GHz Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs). The combined capability of the participants represents significant synergy in the field of 60GHz transceiver design and this is reinforced through the secondment of staff between the industrial and academic partners.


60GHz band − Merits and Limitations

The millimetre-wave band, especially the unlicensed spectrum at the 60GHz carrier frequency, provides the ability to support high-rate wireless communication applications. Compared with the congested microwave bands around 2.5GHz and 5GHz, the amount of available bandwidth at 60GHz is plentiful: a continuous bandwidth of up to 9GHz set aside by international and government bodies makes the portion of the spectrum from 57 to 66GHz very attractive for novel broadband wireless communications. Europe reserved the whole band for use by general unlicensed devices while North America, Korea (57–64GHz) and Japan (59–66GHz) selected a 7GHz segment.
However, 60GHz systems exhibit several challenges that render their outdoor deployment particularly difficult and expensive. Indeed, the 60GHz wireless channel shows 20 to 40dB larger free space path losses due to the order of magnitude increase in carrier frequency. It also suffers from 5–30dB/km atmospheric absorption depending on the weather conditions and high loss in common building materials (from 2.4dB/cm loss for the dry wall to 31.9dB/cm for the mesh glass). These drawbacks make 60GHz communications most suitable for indoor, close-range applications where the available raw bandwidth can support uncompressed gigabit wireless data transfer. 


Main Objectives

The research and development efforts aim to deliver novel front-end technologies which will be commercialised by the industrial partners. These technologies should enable the widespread adoption of high data rate communications at 60GHz, the initial focus being on the domestic distribution of uncompressed High Definition (HD) video content. The four year project expends 126 researcher months and involves staff exchange between the partners. Each organisation brings different technical capabilities to the project and through secondments it is anticipated that significant knowledge transfer will take place. The 60GHz wireless communications arena should generate substantial commercial opportunities as major consumer electronic companies already propose LCD TVs with wireless video capability. The two industry partners, Infineon and DecaWave, will take the lead in transitioning the solutions developed in the project to semiconductor and consumer electronics end customers. The primary technical output from GigaRadio will be a pre-commercial 60GHz transceiver system [link to the Demonstrator section] demonstrating short range wireless communication at 3Gbps.