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High Performance Quad-Play by Professor Hua Wang’s Team at ISSCC 2017

Atlanta, GA

Professor Hua Wang’s group unveiled four high performance integrated circuit designs that hold the potential to support future 5G wireless and IoT devices at the 2017 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

In order to enable future multi-band 5G MIMO systems with high reliability and international roaming, Wang’s group has demonstrated the world’s first mm-Wave Doherty power amplifier that can cover multiple 5G bands (28GHz, 37GHz, and 39GHz) in only one silicon IC chip with the best reported back-off power efficiency enhancement among silicon power amplifiers. This single IC-footprint Doherty power amplifier is ideally suited for use in ultra-high-speed wireless data transfer and augmented-reality and virtual-reality (AR/VR) devices.

The team’s second demonstrator is a mm-wave multi-feed antenna and transmitter co-design for 5G backhaul applications. Unlike traditional phased-array designs, which comprise hundreds or thousands of many small antennas to achieve high gain at the expense of array beam-width, Wang’s group proposed and demonstrated a new multi-feed antenna concept that enables direct on-antenna power combining of multiple mm-wave power amplifiers; a proof-of-concept design in standard CMOS process achieves the best output power and energy efficiency among reported mm-Wave power amplifiers or transmitters whilst maintaining a single antenna footprint. This new multi-feed antenna and transmitter co-design is particularly useful to support high-performance long-range back-haul base-station/base-station communication for 5G networks and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure 5G links for self-driving transportation ‘smart city’ developments.

The team’s third demonstrator, a wideband digital power amplifier with built-in phase distortion cancellation, addresses the unmet need of broadband, high-efficiency, and high-linearity power amplifiers for 5G RF (<6GHz) applications. Digital power amplifiers offer superior energy efficiency and reconfigurability but often exhibit poor phase linearity under large signal operations. Wang’s group presented a novel digital power amplifier topology using feed forward capacitors and phase-insensitive matching network, which autonomously compensates and improves the phase linearity with no need of phase pre-distortion.

The final presentation by Wang’s team, an ultra-broadband 100GHz-300GHz transmitter/receiver system for mm-Wave/THz hyperspectral imaging, seeks to make terahertz based spectroscopy quick, non-destructive, and portable. This newly developed sensor platform may be used for a broad array of applications, such as wireless patient point-of-care health examinations via breath analysis and non-destructive and on-location scanning of packaged food items for safety and quality control. Additionally, the new sensor’s bandwidth, transmitter power flatness, and receiver sensitivity make it ideal for use in the growing world of new materials research and 3D printing by spectrally evaluating for hidden defects. The team demonstrated the successful real-time detection of metal screws in the sealed, packaged cookies and water content measurements in fresh vs. dry leaves.

About Dr. Wang

Professor Wang received his B.Sc. from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 2007 and 2009, respectively.  Dr. Wang is generally interested in innovating and engineering mixed-signal, RF, and mm-Wave integrated systems for wireless communication and bioelectronics applications. He is a member of Sigma Xi, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society, and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.


The IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) is the flagship conference for solid state circuit design.

Further Reading

A 28GHz/37GHz/39GHz Multiband Linear Doherty Power Amplifier for 5G Massive MIMO Applications. Authors: Song Hu, Fei Wang, Hua Wang

A 60GHz On-Chip Linear Radiator with Single-Element 27.9dBm Psat and 33.1dBm Peak EIRP Using Multi-Feed Antenna for Direct On-Antenna Power Combining.
Authors: Taiyun Chi, Fei Wang, Sensen Li, Min-Yu Huang, Jongseok Park, and Hua Wang

A Packaged 90-300GHz Transmitter and 115-325GHz Coherent Receiver in CMOS for Full-Band Continuous-Wave Mm-Wave and THz Hyperspectral Imaging.
Authors: Taiyun Chi, Min-Yu Huang, Sensen Li, and Hua Wang

- Christa M. Ernst

Last revised May 15, 2020