US20120235881A1 - Mm-wave phased array antenna and system integration on semi-flex packaging - Google Patents

Mm-wave phased array antenna and system integration on semi-flex packaging Download PDF

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US20120235881A1
US20120235881A1 US13/420,865 US201213420865A US2012235881A1 US 20120235881 A1 US20120235881 A1 US 20120235881A1 US 201213420865 A US201213420865 A US 201213420865A US 2012235881 A1 US2012235881 A1 US 2012235881A1
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mm
wave
substrate
antenna
integrated circuit
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US13/420,865
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Helen K. Pan
Mark Ruberto
Bryce Horine
Shmuel Ravid
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Intel Corp
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Intel Corp
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Antenna arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/06Arrays of individually energised antenna units similarly polarised and spaced apart
    • H01Q21/061Two dimensional planar arrays
    • H01Q21/067Two dimensional planar arrays using endfire radiating aerial units transverse to the plane of the array
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q1/00Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas
    • H01Q1/12Supports; Mounting means
    • H01Q1/20Resilient mountings
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Antenna arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/24Combinations of antenna units polarised in different directions for transmitting or receiving circularly and elliptically polarised waves or waves linearly polarised in any direction
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q25/00Antennas or antenna systems providing at least two radiating patterns
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/0413MIMO systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/10Polarisation diversity; Directional diversity
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01PWAVEGUIDES; RESONATORS, LINES, OR OTHER DEVICES OF THE WAVEGUIDE TYPE
    • H01P11/00Apparatus or processes specially adapted for manufacturing waveguides or resonators, lines, or other devices of the waveguide type
    • H01P11/001Manufacturing waveguides or transmission lines of the waveguide type
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q1/00Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas
    • H01Q1/12Supports; Mounting means
    • H01Q1/22Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles
    • H01Q1/2258Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles used with computer equipment
    • H01Q1/2266Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles used with computer equipment disposed inside the computer
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q1/00Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas
    • H01Q1/12Supports; Mounting means
    • H01Q1/22Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles
    • H01Q1/2291Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles used in bluetooth or WI-FI devices of Wireless Local Area Networks [WLAN]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q13/00Waveguide horns or mouths; Slot antennas; Leaky-waveguide antennas; Equivalent structures causing radiation along the transmission path of a guided wave
    • H01Q13/08Radiating ends of two-conductor microwave transmission lines, e.g. of coaxial lines, of microstrip lines
    • H01Q13/085Slot-line radiating ends
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q13/00Waveguide horns or mouths; Slot antennas; Leaky-waveguide antennas; Equivalent structures causing radiation along the transmission path of a guided wave
    • H01Q13/10Resonant slot antennas
    • H01Q13/16Folded slot antennas
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Antenna arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/0087Apparatus or processes specially adapted for manufacturing antenna arrays
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Antenna arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/06Arrays of individually energised antenna units similarly polarised and spaced apart
    • H01Q21/061Two dimensional planar arrays
    • H01Q21/064Two dimensional planar arrays using horn or slot aerials
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q3/00Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system
    • H01Q3/26Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture
    • H01Q3/30Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture varying the relative phase between the radiating elements of an array
    • H01Q3/34Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture varying the relative phase between the radiating elements of an array by electrical means
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q3/00Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system
    • H01Q3/26Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture
    • H01Q3/30Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture varying the relative phase between the radiating elements of an array
    • H01Q3/34Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture varying the relative phase between the radiating elements of an array by electrical means
    • H01Q3/36Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an antenna or antenna system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture varying the relative phase between the radiating elements of an array by electrical means with variable phase-shifters
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q7/00Loop antennas with a substantially uniform current distribution around the loop and having a directional radiation pattern in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the loop
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K999/00PRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS dummy group
    • H05K999/99PRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS dummy group dummy group
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49002Electrical device making
    • Y10T29/49016Antenna or wave energy "plumbing" making
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49002Electrical device making
    • Y10T29/49016Antenna or wave energy "plumbing" making
    • Y10T29/49018Antenna or wave energy "plumbing" making with other electrical component

Abstract

Embodiments of wireless antenna array systems to achieve three-dimensional beam coverage are described herein. Disclosed is an integrated multiple phased antenna array on a flexible substrate with one RFIC. In this way the module can be molded onto the contour of a platform such as a notebook or a hub of the personal area network or local area network. The multiple phased array can be 3D bent in a compact size to fit into thin mobile platforms. Different array antennas or antennas radiate in different spherical directions with beam scanning capabilities while driven simultaneously by one RFIC chip.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/452,754, entitled “ANTENNA ARCHITECTURE, ANTENNA SYSTEM AND A METHOD THEREOF,” filed Mar. 15, 2011, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of the Disclosed Embodiments
  • The present invention relates generally to mm-wave receivers and transmitters in general and particularly to an integrated mm-wave device that employs a phased array.
  • 2. Introduction
  • In recent years, the operating frequency of commercial communications and radar applications has also increased towards the upper end of the radio frequency spectrum, including operation at mm wavelengths. With the silicon chip assuming greater functionality at higher frequencies in a smaller area at a lower cost, it is becoming economically feasible to manufacture high-frequency wideband ICs for both commercial and consumer electronic applications. High-frequency wideband IC applications now include millimeter (mm) wave applications such as short range communications at 24 GHz and 60 GHz and automotive radar at 24 GHz and 77 GHz.
  • Technological developments permit digitization and compression of large amounts of voice, video, imaging, and data information. The need to transfer data between devices in wireless mobile radio communication requires reception of an accurate data stream at a high data rate. It would be advantageous to provide antennas that allow radios, especially wireless mobile devices, to handle the increased capacity while providing an improved quality that achieves antenna coverage in both azimuth and elevation. It would also be advantageous to provide mobile internet devices and/or access points with a smaller form factor that incorporates integrated, compact, high performance antennas.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSED EMBODIMENTS
  • The subject matter regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with objects, features, and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating devices using extremely high frequency radio signals to communicate in a wireless network in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an N element mm-wave transceiver RFIC architecture in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 3 is an illustration of a conformal antenna module using semi-flex packaging with flexible layers on the top for antenna integration and FR-4 packaging below in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 4 is an illustration mm-wave phased antenna array on flexible substrate is integrated with BBIC/RFIC on standard FR-4 stackup in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 5 is an illustration of an antenna module consisting of a 2×8 rectangular array on the top and a 2×8 rectangular array to provide top and front area beam scan coverage in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 6 is an illustration of a 3D phased antenna array wrapping to provide top, side, and front spatial coverage in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 7 is an illustration of a 3D phased antenna array wrapping with an attached single high gain antenna to provide top, side, and front spatial coverage in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 8 shows a pair of co-linear mm-wave taper slot antenna array (2×8) and associated radiation pattern in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 9 illustrates the relationship between phased array antenna configuration and scan angle in accordance to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 10 shows a slot loop antenna and associated radiation pattern in accordance to an embodiment; and
  • FIG. 11 shows a phased antenna array (2×8) bent slightly up to provide a desired coverage and the array's scanning radiation pattern for mm-wave applications in accordance to an embodiment.
  • The term PBSS control point (PCP) as used herein, is defined as a station (STA) that operates as a control point of the mmWave network.
  • The term access point (AP) as used herein, is defined as any entity that has STA functionality and provides access to the distribution services, via the wireless medium (WM) for associated STAs.
  • The term wireless network controller as used herein, is defined as a station that's operates as PCP and/or as AP of the wireless network.
  • The term directional band (DBand) as used herein is defined as any frequency band wherein the Channel starting frequency is above 45 GHz.
  • The term DBand STA as used herein is defined as a STA whose radio transmitter is operating on a channel that is within the DBand.
  • The term personal basic service set (PBSS) as used herein is defined as a basic service set (BSS) which forms an ad hoc self-contained network, operates in the DBand, includes one PBSS control point (PCP), and in which access to a distribution system (DS) is not present but an intra-PBSS forwarding service is optionally present.
  • The term scheduled service period (SP) as used herein is scheduled by a quality of service (QoS) AP or a PCP. Scheduled SPs may start at fixed intervals of time, if desired.
  • The terms “traffic” and/or “traffic stream(s)” as used herein, are defined as a data flow and/or stream between wireless devices such as STAs. The term “session” as used herein is defined as state information kept or stored in a pair of stations that have an established a direct physical link (e.g., excludes forwarding); the state information may describe or define the session.
  • The term “wireless device” as used herein includes, for example, a device capable of wireless communication, a communication device capable of wireless communication, a communication station capable of wireless communication, a portable or non-portable device capable of wireless communication, or the like. In some embodiments, a wireless device may be or may include a peripheral device that is integrated with a computer, or a peripheral device that is attached to a computer. In some embodiments, the term “wireless device” may optionally include a wireless service
  • The embodiments of the invention described herein may include an active conformal phased array antenna module for 60 GHz Wireless personal area network and/or a wireless local area network (WPAN/WLAN) communication systems. The design approach described here is guided by the need to deploy as few active antenna modules at 60 GHz as possible on a platform to get full, or pseudo-omni coverage with low cost and low power consumption in high volume manufacture production.
  • An exemplary embodiment of the invention may include a notebook, and/or notebook platform, which is assumed to be the hub of the personal area network or local area network, although the scope of the invention is not limited in this respect. Embodiments of the invention may be equally applied to handheld, tablet and any other communication device, if desired.
  • Although the scope of the present invention is not limited in this respect, the best approach with the given technology for cost reduction may be to have a number of antennas printed on to a single thin conformal (flexible) package material that may be molded onto the contour of the platform while driven with a single radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) chip, if desired.
  • For example, to print a number of phased array or fixed antennas onto a single material flexible substrate may enable different array antennas and/or other types of antennas to radiate in different spherical directions with beam scanning capabilities while driven simultaneously by a single RFIC chip. Implemented the digital signal processing algorithms within the RFIC chip may enable seamless beam scanning across different orthogonal directions. In this approach, the single mm-wave module has capability to provide complete quasi-omni coverage in all the directions. The only requirement is that one region of the platform needs to be rugged enough to accommodate the flip chip attachment of the RFIC to the platform and to allow porting of all of the digital/bias and RF low intermediate frequency (IF) frequency signals as well as cable ports and/or solder landing pads to accommodate attachment of external cabling. For example, the RFIC may include an integrated mm-wave transceiver and the phase array antenna may include a conformal antenna.
  • It should be understood that the present invention may be used in a variety of applications. Although the present invention is not limited in this respect, the circuits and techniques disclosed herein may be used in many apparatuses such as stations of a radio system. Stations intended to be included within the scope of the present invention include, by way of example only, WLAN stations, wireless personal network (WPAN), and the like.
  • Types of WPAN stations intended to be within the scope of the present invention include, although are not limited to, stations capable of operating as a multi-band stations, stations capable of operating as PCP, stations capable of operating as an AP, stations capable of operating as DBand stations, mobile stations, access points, stations for receiving and transmitting spread spectrum signals such as, for example, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS), Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS), Complementary Code Keying (CCK), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and the like.
  • Additional features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the disclosure. The features and advantages of the disclosure may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. These and other features of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the disclosure as set forth herein.
  • Various embodiments of the disclosure are discussed in detail below. While specific implementations are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustration purposes only. A person skilled in the relevant art will recognize that other components and configurations may be used without parting from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.
  • Although embodiments of the invention are not limited in this regard, discussions utilizing terms such as, for example, “processing,” “computing,” “calculating,” “determining,” “applying,” “receiving,” “establishing”, “analyzing”, “checking”, or the like, may refer to operation(s) and/or process(es) of a computer, a computing platform, a computing system, or other electronic computing device, that manipulate and/or transform data represented as physical (e.g., electronic) quantities within the computer's registers and/or memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the computer's registers and/or memories or other information storage medium that may store instructions to perform operations and/or processes.
  • Although embodiments of the invention are not limited in this regard, the terms “plurality” and “a plurality” as used herein may include, for example, “multiple” or “two or more”. The terms “plurality” or “a plurality” may be used throughout the specification to describe two or more components, devices, elements, units, parameters, or the like. For example, “a plurality of resistors” may include two or more resistors. The term coupled as used herein, is defined as operably connected in any desired form for example, mechanically, electronically, digitally, directly, by software, by hardware and the like.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a wireless communication system 100 in accordance to an embodiment. The system 100 comprises a pair of multi-band capable stations 102 and 104 such as peer Quality of Service (QSTAs) stations. Although only two stations (STAs) are shown for simplicity, the invention is not limited to any particular number of STAs. Using the first multi-band capable station 102 as an example, each STA includes a station management entity (SME) 126 and 146 having a MAC interface (not shown) for transceiving primitives, a processor 120 to convert between primitives and MAC frames, and a physical layer interface (not shown) to transceive primitive-converted MAC frames. A physical layer (PHY) entity 116 has a MAC interface (not shown) to transceive MAC frames and a physical layer interface on line (not shown) connected to a peer STA PHY entity such as STA 104 to transceive physical layer communications.
  • Typically, the PHY entities (116 in STA 102 and 104) communicate via a wireless link represented by reference designator 121 through antenna 160 (STA 102) and antenna 260 (STA 104) comprising antennas printed on to a single thin conformal (flexible) package material that can be molded onto the contour of the platform while driven with one RFIC 250 which in association with the antenna array perform the function of transmitter 140 and receiver 150. Antenna 160 or 260 may include an internal and/or external RF antenna, for example, a dipole antenna, a monopole antenna, an omni-directional antenna, an end fed antenna, a circularly polarized antenna, a micro-strip antenna, a diversity antenna, or any other type of antenna suitable for transmitting and/or receiving wireless communication signals, blocks, frames, transmission streams, packets, messages and/or data. In some embodiments, station 110 may include for example one or more processors 120, one or more memory units 130, one or more transmitters 140, one or more receivers 150, and one or more antennas 160 or 260. Station 110 may further include other suitable hardware components and/or software components. While the RFIC 250 and antenna 260 are shown as discrete components it is contemplated that these devices can be integrated into a single substrate and that other components can be added or remove without affecting the functionality of the devices. Additionally, the RFIC 250 may include an integrated mm-wave transceiver and the antenna 260 may include a conformal antenna. Implementing digital signal processing algorithms within the RFIC 250 enables seamless a single mm-wave module to provide complete quasi-omni coverage in all the directions.
  • Processor 120 may include, for example, a Central Processing Unit (CPU), a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), a microprocessor, a controller, a chip, a microchip, an Integrated Circuit (IC), or any other suitable multi-purpose or specific processor or controller. Processor 120 may, for example, process data received by station 102, and/or process data intended for transmission by station 102.
  • Memory unit 130 may include, for example, a Random Access Memory (RAM), a Read Only Memory (ROM), a Dynamic RAM (DRAM), a Synchronous DRAM (SD-RAM), a Flash memory, a volatile memory, a non-volatile memory, a cache memory, a buffer, a short term memory unit, a long term memory unit, or other suitable memory units or storage units Memory unit 130 may, for example, store data received by station 104, and/or store data intended for transmission by station 102 and/or store instructions for carrying out the operation of station 102 including for example embodiments of a method described herein.
  • Transmitter 140, may include, for example, a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) transmitter able to transmit RF signals, e.g., through antenna 160, and may be capable of transmitting a signal generated by for example a Multi-Stream Multi-Band Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation (MSMB OFDM) system in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention. Transmitter 140 may be implemented using for example a transmitter, a transceiver, or a transmitter-receiver, or one or more units able to perform separate or integrated functions of transmitting and/or receiving wireless communication signals, blocks, frames, transmission streams, packets, messages and/or data. One approach to system implementation can include a split module topology where baseband signals (IF Signal) are modulated onto an IF carrier in a module that may be physically remote from the antenna module platform consisting of circuitry and antennas. The IF signal from the baseband module is then ported to one or more conformal antenna modules via cabling, and then up-converted to the desired frequency such as 60 GHz by a radio frequency circuit that is integrated in the conformal antenna module. The upconverted 60 GHz signal is then split N times by splitter to drive N on-chip transceivers such as the plurality of mm-wave antennas on a substrate. Each transceiver is bidirectional containing a phase shifter 264 and low noise amplifier (LNA) and/or power amplifier (PA) 266 like shown in FIG. 2.
  • Receiver 150 may include, for example, a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) receiver able to receive RF signals, e.g., through antenna 160, and may be capable of receiving a signal generated by for example a Multi-Stream Multi-Band Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation (MSMB OFDM) system in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention. Receiver 150 may be implemented using for example a receiver, transceiver, or a transmitter-receiver, or one or more units able to perform separate or integrated functions of receiving and/or transmitting/receiving wireless communication signals, blocks, frames, transmission streams, packets, messages and/or data.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of N element mm-wave transceiver RFIC architecture in accordance to an embodiment. Each of the N transceivers may be connected to an antenna element 260 in the N-element phased array antenna. In one exemplary embodiment the antenna module comprises a plurality of mm-wave antennas (N=32) with a 2 GHz baseband signal that is modulated such as onto a 12 GHz carrier in a remote module like a baseband integrated circuit (BBIC). The 12 GHz modulated signal may arrive to the conformal antenna module and ported in the Si CMOS RFIC 250 at the IF Signal IN/OUT port such as port 252 of the RFIC shown in the block diagram of RFIC 250.
  • According to the exemplary embodiment in transmitter (TX) or receiver (RX) mode, the single-ended 12 GHz modulated signal at port 252 may be upconverted/downconverted to 60 GHz in the passive bidirectional mixer 254. The signal then passes through a bidirectional amplifier 258 and is split N times at splitter 262. The phase of the signal is then controlled by a phase shifter 262 and passes through a PA/LNA 266 in TX/RX modes, respectively. The signal then passes into the package material with integrated antenna via a flip bump. An oscillator 256 generates an output signal that is fed to the passive bidirectional mixer 254 to upconvert/downconvert the IF signal at port 252. The oscillator 256 has an input/output port 257 to provide a sample output signal at the same frequency as the upconverted signal (60 GHZ) or to receive a signal from an external source such as a control signal. The oscillator (crystal) 256 can be in a different package due to its sensitivity to temperature variance. A balun circuit such as balun 253 may be used to balance signals between circuits. Also, omni RX input signals can be further amplified through an amplifier circuit such as amplifier 259.
  • FIG. 3 is an illustration of a conformal antenna module using semi-flex packaging with flexible layers on the top for antenna integration and FR-4 packaging below in accordance to an embodiment. An RFIC 250 flip chip launched on conformal mm-wave antenna modules is shown. The Figure illustrates the Direct Chip Attachment (DCA) for RFIC 250 and BBIC 340 on a hybrid laminate module (semi-flex packaging) substrate 310 such as PCIe card module, but it could also be only an RFIC integrated on the module with IF interface as descript in previous paragraphs concerning FIG. 1. The RFIC 250 or BBIC 340 chips are flip-chip landed 350 on conformal antenna module with die area routing. The antenna module 260 is built on top layer of the laminate packaging. While shown as a single layer it may not be limited to single layer and may be multiple flexible top layers. The top flexible layer may use low tangent loss material to achieve lowest mm-wave loss and best mm-wave antenna performance. There are various flexible material substrate 310 which may be implemented on the top layers, such as, liquid crystal polymer (LCP) such as Ultralam3000, polyimide, Teflon, Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic, alumina, antenna grade core materials and laminates, duroid, high-resistivity silicon or one or more other suitable substrates for mm-wave applications. Under the die area, a standard FR-4 laminate 330 is positioned below the flexible layers for digital/power/ground routing that are not critical mm-wave RF signals and achieve lowest manufacture cost. The RFIC 259 circuit is anchored to a bottom substrate such as a glass fiber board like FR-4 packaging so that one region of the platform (flexible substrate 310) is rugged enough to accommodate the flip chip attachment of the RFIC to the platform and to allow porting of all of the digital/bias and RF low intermediate frequency (IF) frequency signals as well as cable ports and/or solder landing pads to accommodate attachment of external cabling. The RFIC 250 can also be anchored by other substrates selected from a group consisting of printed circuit board (PCB), temperature-resistant glass fiber board (FR-5), ceramic substrate, metal-core PCB (MCPCB), direct copper bonded (DCB) substrate, metal composite board, copper-coated aluminum board, and aluminum board.
  • In this design approach, the mm-wave phased array antenna or other any other antenna designs may be conformal to provide flexibility to fit in any mobile platform such as a notebook or mobile device and preserve best electromagnetic performance in term of gain, bandwidth and scan-ability. An antenna element is traditionally controlled by its own active device. However, the active devices used in controlling the antenna elements can be expensive, and in some cases may even require one or more stages of amplifiers. Even when the active devices are relatively inexpensive, the system may require a large digital memory to support a large set of field of views (FOVs). For a phased array system having a single controller, an issue is the signal delay in the routing 320 between the different antenna array element arms. To minimize delays the routing 320 is maintained substantially equal distant to control group delay for broadband beam pattern stability. The length of the line is chosen so that the antenna element will be excited in-phase with the rest of the antenna elements or when receiving signals from a communicating device so that signals would substantially arrive at the RFIC 250 at the same time. Depending on the topology, this requires transmission line meandering to equalize the delay between the different arms in the package.
  • FIG. 4 is an illustration mm-wave phased antenna array on flexible substrate is integrated with BBIC/RFIC on standard FR-4 stackup in accordance to an embodiment. According to another embodiment a phased antenna array implementation is provided. Since the slot loop antenna array design is on a single layer dielectric substrate, it can be implemented with an extended low cost flexible layer combined with low cost FR-4 board/HDI (high density interconnect) technology 330 for RFIC/BBIC 410 routing 320 as shown. The phased antenna array may be bent into different configurations such as bent 405 to be vertical for spatial coverage and still preserve compact size. The whole mm-wave phased antenna array including the integrated packaging and ICs can take the shape of a compact form factor. The phased antenna array may also be designed by splitting half of the array on each side of a flexible substrate and finally bent together on the platform as shown in FIG. 4. In this way there is easy trace routing and it also minimizes antenna element coupling by feeding traces as shown with respect to routing 320. The top half of the phased antenna array is bent slightly up to provide coverage on the top that may not be achieved with conventional phased array designs.
  • There are many antenna array designs which may be implemented to provide broad spatial beam scan coverage. The following figures, FIGS. 5-11, demonstrate many different antenna array configurations to provide different spatial directivity gain and spatial coverage. It is noted that the mm-wave antenna designs and configuration are not limited the illustrations shown below. Depending on the platform and application, it may be implemented in many other ways to utilize the conformal antenna module.
  • FIG. 5 is an illustration of an antenna module consisting of a 2×8 rectangular array on the top and a 2×8 rectangular array on the front to provide top and front area beam scan coverage in accordance to an embodiment. The two 2×8 rectangular arrays provide equal gain and coverage to the top and front as shown in top beam 430 and front area beam 440 scan coverage. This topology can be implemented in a laptop lid or base to provide spatial coverage away from the users. The RFIC 250 chip is shown on the upper part of the antenna module near the bent region 420 which separates the rectangular arrays. The arrays could be further modified by having a single row array (1×8) and adding a row to the front array (3×8). In this topology, the top scan has same coverage with about 2 dB array gain degradation. But since mm-wave application may be used in indoor environment. The space coverage from the modified device may be less than (L.T.) three meter range. On the other hand, the front coverage is increased by using the additional elements rectangular array to achieve higher gain.
  • FIG. 6 is an illustration of a 3D phased antenna array wrapping to provide top, side, and front spatial coverage in accordance to an embodiment. The embodiment in FIG. 6 integrates multiple phased antenna arrays on a flexible substrate with a single RFIC. In this way the module may be molded onto the contour of the platform such as a laptop or notebook computer. The multiple phased arrays may be 3D bent in a compact size to fit into thin mobile platform. This embodiment provides a solution to integration RFIC with phased antenna array and delivers quasi-omni mm-wave spatial coverage. In order to achieve complete three dimensions spatial coverage, the illustrated antenna configuration may be used, if desired. Illustrated are four sub-arrays, a 2×8 rectangular array 604 to provide spatial coverage in the front 630, a 1×8 linear array 602 to provide spatial coverage to the top area 620, and two liner 1×4 arrays 605 to provide coverage at short range on two sides 610. Using laptop as example, due to the camera and microphone placement in the center of the lid, one of the side linear array has much longer trace routing and higher path loss on mm-wave trace. Even though, it still may provide array gains (about 5-6 dB) incorporate longer trace loss. It may provide coverage on the near by side device communication link. And also the other end of communication link device may have much higher antenna gain (about 10-15 dB) to enhance coverage area. It is also may be implemented with a single high gain antenna on the right to overcome the blockage from lid electronics placed in the center of the laptop lid. The scan top 620, scan front 630, and scan size 610 spatial coverages are shown.
  • FIG. 7 is an illustration of a 3D phased antenna array wrapping with an attached single high gain antenna to provide top, side, and front spatial coverage in accordance to an embodiment. A Taper Slot antenna (TSA) is illustrated with its scan side 720 spatial coverage. The single high gain antenna 710 may be yagi, periodic antenna or any other high gain antenna designs. Due to use single high gain antenna 710, there is no scan capability to that side, but with fixed directional gain. The single high gain antenna also needs to overcome the lid center electronics blockage as well. In all the designs, edge dummy antenna elements placed on the edge of the antenna array designs may be included. The purpose of the edge dummy antenna element is to stabilize antenna array bandwidth and frequency coverage as beam scan to different angles. Those edge dummy antenna element are terminated with load resistor.
  • FIG. 8 shows a pair of co-linear mm-wave taper slot antenna array (2×8) and associated radiation pattern in accordance to an embodiment. This embodiment places the linear phased antenna arrays on the top 810 and bottom 820 layer of the packaging design. The inter two linear array spacing may be less than five hundred microns (500 μm). The linear phased array antenna placement is not limited to the top 810 and bottom 820 layer of the packaging design. When more than two linear arrays are required, they may also be placed on top and bottom layers of the board for instance, and the module can be placed in the middle of the mobile platform base along height dimension. An example of the co-linear 2×8 Taper slot endfire array antenna is illustrated. As is shown, the antenna element design is not limited to taper slot antennas and it may also be Yagi, folded dipole, bending dipole/monopole design and the like. This methodology may use 180 offset feeding to achieve higher isolation and enable dense antenna array placement. As shown in element mm-wave TSA array radiation pattern 830, the N element (16) dense mm-wave array delivers an increase in array antenna gain (≧15 dBi). To extend the design concept, there are multiple array antenna designs which may be integrated with one RFIC and deliver quasi-omni spatial coverage.
  • Currently, planar end-fire array antennas are either a single linear array or implemented into a 3D structure. The single linear array antenna has higher packaging path loss and is harder to implement for large numbers of array elements. The 3D array structure is bulky, expensive and hard to fit into a mobile platform. This embodiment allows multiple linear arrays to stack up in a thin planar packaging. In this way, a high density integration may be achieved.
  • According to embodiments of the invention, the antenna may include implements of two linear arrays in a thin planar packaging structure and may use 180 phase offset method to minimize crosstalk and allow dense integration. It allows more than one of linear array integrates in a dense thin packaging multiple layer structure.
  • Embodiments of the invention may deliver a compact mm-wave array antenna design and RFIC integration as well as providing high gain for directional adaptive beam forming. This invention enables a thin planar packaging integration for mm-wave array antenna that other method may not provide.
  • Alternatively, but not limited to, endfire radiation pattern antenna arrays may only provide azimuth coverage on the horizontal plane, but no coverage on the broadside. For example, laptops and other mobile devices that require multiple phased antenna arrays on the platform cost, size and platform implementation are the major constraints to enabling 60 GHz technology. According to some embodiments of the invention, in order to solve the above described problems, embodiments of the invention may provide a single flexible dielectric substrate slot loop antenna array which provides complete half sphere spatial coverage for mobile devices and provides greater than eleven gigahertz (>11 GHz) bandwidth coverage for worldwide 60 GHz technology deployment. For example, the mm-wave antenna element design may replace a conventional broadside radiation pattern antenna element, a slot loop antenna forms a magnetic loop which is equivalent to an electrical dipole like shown in FIG. 10. By tuning the loop two edge length ratio (a/b), a broader radiation pattern is achieved. The slot loop antenna design may be circular or rectangular.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates the relationship between phased array antenna configuration and scan angle in accordance to an embodiment. Phased Array Antenna Configuration 910 and radiation patterns at zero degrees)(0°) 920, thirty degrees)(30°) 930, and forty five degrees)(45°) 940. Implementing tilting radiation pattern antenna element in the antenna array as shown, the rectangular mm-wave antenna element (2×8) provide 10 dBi gain at 90 degree and 15 dBi at broadside. If using two antenna arrays on two edges of a laptop or mobile device, it will have the complete front and side of coverage. As can be seen from the patterns the linear 1×16 array provides interference mitigation along YZ, but has sensitivity to movement. The 2×8 array is a compromise between interference mitigation and sensitivity to movement. The 4×4 array is less sensitive to movement but is not as strong in interference mitigation.
  • FIG. 10 shows a slot loop antenna and associated radiation pattern in accordance to an embodiment. According to another embodiment of the invention, a slot loop antenna 260 may provide both a broadside radiation pattern 1010 and close to a half sphere omni radiation pattern along xz plane 1020 as shown. The broader radiation pattern along xz plane 1020 may provide a broad beam scanning range 180 degrees long x axis 1005. The mm-wave slot loop antenna design uses single layer dielectric to simplify the structure with a separate metal to eliminate the back radiation. The return loss is below (<10 dB) across 55-66 GHz and provides greater (>11 GHz) bandwidth coverage for worldwide 60 GHz technology deployment. According to this embodiment, the slot loop antenna array may also be immune to mutual coupling. This provides better performance in antenna array beam scanning. The slot loop antenna could be tilted to change the gain in a particular direction. For example, antenna design on a planar surface may provide 45 degree titled beam. The rectangular slot loop antenna backed by ground plane with offset stripline feeding achieved 45 tilting beam. The tuning in two edge ratio (a/b) and open slot gap will achieve 45 degree tilting beam pattern. Broad antenna bandwidth can be achieved (range of 55-64 GHz) with peak gain (range of 4 dB-8 dB). The mm-wave antenna element design can use low loss polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) substrate material that is used in standard FR-4 manufacture process.
  • FIG. 11 shows a phased antenna array (2×8) bent slightly up to provide a desired coverage and the array's scanning radiation pattern for mm-wave applications in accordance to an embodiment. The top half of the phased antenna array 260 is bent slightly up to provide coverage on the top 1110 that may not be achieved with conventional phased array designs like rectangular array (2×8) shown in FIG. 9. Due to the small angle of bending on the top half antenna array 260, those antenna elements still provide radiation gain to the front of antenna array. This array has can achieve increases in gain (about 15-17 dB) in the front area along Y axis 1120. The individual antenna element has close to omni radiation pattern along Y axis. Therefore, it also provides side radiation pattern coverage 1130. The conformal single layer flexible mm-wave phased antenna array is very easy to be implemented in mobile platforms such as the laptop lid. It may be held in place with a simple clip on the lid wall of the mobile platform.
  • Although the above description may contain specific details, they should not be construed as limiting the claims in any way. Other configurations of the described embodiments of the disclosure are part of the scope of this disclosure. For example, the principles of the disclosure may be applied to each individual user where each user may individually deploy such a system. This enables each user to utilize the benefits of the disclosure even if any one of the large number of possible applications do not need the functionality described herein. In other words, there may be multiple instances of the components each processing the content in various possible ways. It does not necessarily need to be one system used by all end users. Accordingly, the appended claims and their legal equivalents should only define the disclosure, rather than any specific examples given.

Claims (21)

1. A millimeter-wave (mm-wave) communications device, comprising:
an antenna module comprising a plurality of mm-wave antennas on a substrate, wherein the substrate can be molded or bent to radiate in different spherical directions; and
an integrated circuit on the substrate connected to the plurality of mm-wave antennas through a transmission line;
wherein the integrated circuit is configured to communicate using mm-wave signals.
2. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 1, wherein the integrated circuit is selected from a group consisting of radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC), baseband integrated circuit (BBIC), or a combination thereof.
3. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 2, wherein the transmission line connecting the plurality of mm-wave antennas is routed to equalize delays in the antenna module.
4. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 2, wherein the RFIC comprises a splitter to combine signals directed from the plurality of mm-wave antennas and to divide a signal into a plurality of signals to drive the antenna module.
5. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 4, wherein the integrated circuit is attached to the substrate by a technique selected from chip and wire assembly, chip-on-board assembly, or flip-chip assembly.
6. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 5, wherein the substrate is made from a material selected from a group consisting of liquid crystal polymer, Teflon, Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic, alumina, antenna grade core materials and laminates, duroid, high-resistivity silicon or one or more other suitable substrates for mm-wave applications.
7. The millimeter-wave communications device of claim 6, wherein the integrated circuit is anchored to a lower layer substrate selected from a group consisting of printed circuit board (PCB), glass fiber board (FR-4), temperature-resistant glass fiber board (FR-5), ceramic substrate, metal-core PCB (MCPCB), direct copper bonded (DCB) substrate, metal composite board, copper-coated aluminum board, and aluminum board.
8. A communication system adapted to be installed in an electronic device to communicate with other electronic devices comprising:
an interface adapted to transfer and to receive signals at a first frequency from an antenna module; and
the antenna module comprising:
at least one antenna array comprising a plurality of mm-wave antennas on a substrate, wherein the substrate can be molded or bent to radiate in different spherical directions;
an integrated circuit on the substrate connected to the plurality of mm-wave antennas through a transmission line;
wherein the integrated circuit is configured to exchange signals between the interface and the antenna module, and to communicate with other electronic devices using mm-wave signals.
9. The communication system of claim 8, wherein the integrated circuit is a radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) and wherein the interface is baseband integrated circuit (BBIC).
10. The communication system of claim 9, wherein the transmission line connecting the plurality of mm-wave antennas is routed to equalize delays in the at least one antenna array.
11. The communication system of claim 9, wherein the RFIC comprises a splitter to combine signals directed from the plurality of mm-wave antennas and to divide a signal into a plurality of signals to drive the plurality of mm-wave antennas.
12. The communication system of claim 11, wherein the integrated circuit is attached to the substrate by a technique selected from chip and wire assembly, chip-on-board assembly, or flip-chip assembly.
13. The communication system of claim 12, wherein the substrate is made from a material selected from a group consisting of liquid crystal polymer, Teflon, Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic, alumina, antenna grade core materials and laminates, duroid, high-resistivity silicon or one or more other suitable substrates for mm-wave applications.
14. The communication system of claim 13, wherein the integrated circuit is anchored to a lower layer substrate selected from a group consisting of printed circuit board (PCB), glass fiber board (FR-4), temperature-resistant glass fiber board (FR-5), ceramic substrate, metal-core PCB (MCPCB), direct copper bonded (DCB) substrate, metal composite board, copper-coated aluminum board, and aluminum board.
15. A multipoint wireless communications device installed in an electronic device to communicate with other electronic devices comprising:
a flexible substrate comprising an antenna module with a plurality of mm-wave antennas, wherein the flexible substrate comprises a pliable material that can be configured to alter the radiation pattern of the antenna array module; and
an integrated circuit on the flexible substrate connected to the plurality of mm-wave antennas through a transmission line;
wherein the integrated circuit is configured to communicate using mm-wave signals.
16. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 15, wherein the integrated circuit is selected from a group consisting of radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC), baseband integrated circuit (BBIC), or a combination thereof.
17. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 16, wherein the transmission line connecting the plurality of mm-wave antennas is routed to equalize delays in the antenna array.
18. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 16, wherein the RFIC comprises a splitter to combine signals directed from the plurality of mm-wave antennas and to divide a signal into a plurality of signals to drive the antenna array.
19. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 18, wherein the integrated circuit is attached to the substrate by a technique selected from chip and wire assembly, chip-on-board assembly, or flip-chip assembly.
20. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 19, wherein the substrate is made from a material selected from a group consisting of liquid crystal polymer, Teflon, Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic, alumina, antenna grade core materials and laminates, duroid, high-resistivity silicon or one or more other suitable substrates for mm-wave applications.
21. The multipoint wireless communications device of claim 20, wherein the integrated circuit is anchored to a lower layer substrate selected from a group consisting of printed circuit board (PCB), glass fiber board (FR-4), temperature-resistant glass fiber board (FR-5), ceramic substrate, metal-core PCB (MCPCB), direct copper bonded (DCB) substrate, metal composite board, copper-coated aluminum board, and aluminum board.
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US13/997,205 Abandoned US20140225805A1 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-10-01 Conformal phased array antenna with integrated transceiver
US13/994,029 Active 2034-04-10 US9742077B2 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-10-01 Mm-wave phased array antenna with beam tilting radiation pattern
US13/994,789 Abandoned US20150303587A1 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-11-14 Co-linear mm-wave phased array antenna with end-fire radiation pattern
US13/997,298 Active 2032-09-23 US9343817B2 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-11-17 Conformal mm-wave phased array antenna with increased scan coverage
US13/993,510 Active 2035-10-22 US10116065B2 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-11-17 MM-Wave multiple-input multiple-output antenna system with polarization diversity
US13/420,865 Abandoned US20120235881A1 (en) 2011-03-15 2012-03-15 Mm-wave phased array antenna and system integration on semi-flex packaging
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US13/994,029 Active 2034-04-10 US9742077B2 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-10-01 Mm-wave phased array antenna with beam tilting radiation pattern
US13/994,789 Abandoned US20150303587A1 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-11-14 Co-linear mm-wave phased array antenna with end-fire radiation pattern
US13/997,298 Active 2032-09-23 US9343817B2 (en) 2011-03-15 2011-11-17 Conformal mm-wave phased array antenna with increased scan coverage
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