11 Octobre – Thesis defense - Florian Voineau

10 h30 Room J.P. Dom - Laboratory IMS / Building A31 (Talence)

High-speed and low cost data links using plastic waveguides.

In a world willfully transitioning to the Digital Age, the thirst for connectivity demands high-speed communication links at low cost. In this context, affordable plastic waveguides have been proposed as a disruptive propagation channel in the millimeter-wave (mmW) range. Benefiting from multi gigahertz (GHz) bandwidths and mmW capabilities of advanced CMOS technologies as well as relaxed assembly tolerances requirements, cost-effective communication systems based on plastic waveguides could offer multi gigabits per second (Gb/s) data rates over several meters distances.
In this work, the design of plastic waveguide channels is first discussed using both a theoretical approach and Electromagnetic (EM) simulations. Although low attenuation promises have been confirmed, some limitations are also highlighted, especially as regards confinement ability and robustness to external contacts. Solutions involving foam coating are briefly investigated and an innovative plastic waveguide design demonstrating improved characteristics is introduced.
System-level topics are then explored in order to build a communication system using the previously presented channel. A new architecture, which combines Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) and frequency multiplexing, is found to be much more suitable. The transition from the circuit to the plastic waveguide has also been identified as a potential bandwidth bottleneck. Consequently, a wideband microstrip to WR-12 transition has been designed. Another limitation concerning the demodulation of QPSK mmW signals is investigated and an original topology using the non-linearities of Injection Locked Oscillators (ILO) has been developed.
Finally, the design of a mmW transmitter in an advanced silicon technology node (CMOS 28 nm FD-SOI) is described. Major contributions include the introduction of high-performance integrated hybrid couplers and the realization of a wide locking range synchronization circuit enabling low phase-noise operation when locked on the fifth harmonic of a reference signal. Measurements on modulated signals have validated the transmitter high data-rate capability of several Gb/s.

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