The packaged transceiver
operates at frequencies in the range of 90-94GHz, according to IBM. It
is implemented as a unit tile, integrating four phased array ICs and 64
By tiling packages next to one another
on a circuit board, scalable phased arrays of large aperture can be
created while maintaining uniform antenna element spacing, according to
IBM. The beamforming capabilities enabled by hundreds of antenna
elements will allow for communications and radar imaging applications
that will extend over a range of kilometers.
Each of the four
phased-array ICs in a tile integrates 32 receive and 16 transmit
elements with dual outputs to support 16 dual polarized antennas,
according to IBM. Multiple operating modes are supported, including the
simultaneous reception of horizontal and vertical polarizations, IBM
Packaged view of the integrated circuit. The above photo depicts the size of the millimeter wave chip. Each of the 64 diamond shaped objects is an antenna. The spacing of these antennas is exact and allows for additional chips to be aligned next to the above one and expand the array.
The new ICs are fabricated using IBM's silicon-germanium process.
spans 30 GHz to 300 GHz on the electromagnetic spectrum, 10 to 100
times higher than the frequencies used for mobile phones and Wi-Fi,
according to IBM. Frequencies in the range of 90-94GHz are well suited
for short and long range, high-resolution radar imaging, the firm said.
94GHz radar imaging technology could alleviate difficulties for
aircraft pilots navigating through weather, debris and other vision
Remember, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT watching you.
When I wrote the above I was very aware of not only the potential for abuse, but that potential would be consciously and carefully built in.
But this is nothing new. LTE, and God knows what else, has a 'Legal Intercept' hook built in. Not only can your communications be tapped but your phone or tablet can be commanded to turn on camera and / or microphone.
Intrusive government is a very big problem. It's not a technical problem though.
I remember when phased array radar was billboard sized, consumed multi-MW and something you put on a ship or located in the Frozen North to watch for nasties coming over the pole. And it still does that...
It's a little scary to think of what can be done with this technology on a small scale - the surveillance potential is incredible. Should we be glad or worried - or both?
Les makes an excellent point; a relatively low power radar that can see "kilometers" ahead sounds like a robust solution for highway travel. In an aircraft, it would take quick action to avoid revealed obstacles.
90GHz designs have been demonstrated on 8HP, so best guess would be 8HP. It's not like they have any specs that would drive them to require a process more advanced than the minimum fT/fMax needed to function.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.