Reconfigurable Multifunction Components for Wireless Devices

Project: Research

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Future wireless communication devices will be even more complex, supporting both multi-band and multi-mode operation, capable of operating with global cellular standards (like GSM, 3G and emerging 4G technologies), incorporating existing services such as BlueTooth, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN or WiFi). Other emerging applications include Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN), WiMax for mobile internet access, and proximity radio for wireless headsets or wireless printing.Conventional multiband mobile radios employ separate narrow band front-ends, one for each band, with 2 bands requiring 2 front-ends, 3 bands requiring 3 front-ends and so on. This problem is further compounded with multiple antennas mobile radios, where this number would correspondingly be multiplied by the number of antennas. This results in a large cumbersome solution that is not adaptable to changes and locale with differing standards. Compact broadband solutions for multiband use are not practical due to their much poorer performance and severe interference mitigation problems. In this research proposal a reconfigurable radio front end is proposed which combines the advantages of multiple front-end performance with broadband operation by allowing a broadband front end to be re-configured. When reconfigured under software control, to switch between different frequency bands, a more optimal performance can be achieved which approaches or even betters the narrow band performance. This result in a one size fits all solution or one that comes close to it.Realizing reconfigurable front-ends, that include components such as power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers, filters, duplexers/diplexers, baluns and couplers, is problematic due to the number of components and frequency bands involved. Innovative integrated multiple functionalities within a passive and an active element is therefore proposed. This solves these problems and reduces the overall complexity, which allows for such diverse reconfigurability.Reconfigurability over such a large bandwidth is no mean feat but the proposed research work overcomes these obstacles be separating and combining multiple functions into two separate blocks. The resulting work will work for both Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) methods.


Project number9041555
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/1027/03/13