University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advancing Integrated System Design with
Ultra-Broadband Integration Techniques

Rhonda Franklin, PhD
University of Minnesota

Mobile applications have emerged as an important growth area in the first decade of the Information Age. This is due to advances in computing and radio frequency (RF) communications associated with the Internet and wireless technology.  It has resulted in the replacement of single function use computers and telephones with multi-function devices that can offer computing capability and communications. Indirectly, the rapid changes at device level have created a need to develop a variety of mobile base station technologies to support and expand fixed based station capability in the backbone of the communication infrastructure. These systems are needed to accommodate the large number of users, high mobility of users, and diversity of protocols arising to satisfy the needs of emerging mobile applications such as personal communications, health care monitoring, and environmental monitoring.

From a technical perspective, the growth of multi-function systems has increased the need to design effective complex systems. These complex systems can contain a variety of smaller sub-systems like the radio, computer, and sensors. For a single function wireless radio design, it becomes critical to provide solutions that (1) reduce its high sensitivity to extraneous electromagnetic waves; (2) use material characteristics to reduce circuit size and weight, and (3) minimize its potential to offer RF interference to neighboring circuits and sub-systems in a complex environment. As a result, significant interest has been placed on developing solutions that can shield unwanted signals, offer reduced size with improved performance using novel circuit design approaches, and enhance isolation within and between circuits and chips in high density environments. Moreover, careful design is also needed to ensure that all high speed signals traveling within and throughout these complex system environments maintain high signal integrity behavior.

This presentation will describe the research efforts of the Microwave Packaging and Circuit Technology group (MPACT) to enhance the integration of high-speed passive components and interconnect designs commonly found in RF radios. This talk will present our core integration design concept along with different design approaches taken to create efficient high-speed interconnects, compact and low loss passive components – filters and antennas, as well as novel ultra-wide band transitions for multi-level three dimensional chip integration at the wafer level.