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First 60GHz single-chip CMOS transceiver out from down under

NICTA, Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence announced the world's first transceiver integrated on a single chip that operates at 60GHz on the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) process. The importance of the extremely small chip is it can be embedded into devices to enable the networking of office and home equipment–without wires.

Researchers from NICTA's Gigabit Wireless Project are the first in the world to develop an integrated transceiver, a complete transmitter and receiver, on a single chip at 60GHz on CMOS. The chip enables the wireless transfer of audio and video data at up to 5 gigabits per second, ten times the current maximum wireless transfer rate, at one-tenth the cost.

“The chipset will enable video or audio data to be quickly and efficiently transferred between handset devices or other systems and human interface devices. For example, our system will enable a consumer to transfer a high definition DVD movie from a video kiosk to the handset within seconds. The movie can then be viewed on the handset / portable media player or transferred uncompressed wirelessly to a HD Screen or projector,” said NICTA Gigabit Wireless Project Leader Professor Stan Skafidas.

NICTA's research involved a close collaboration with leaders in the global semiconductor industry. The technology was developed using the IBM 130nm RF CMOS process. NICTA chose to develop this technology in the 57-64GHz unlicensed frequency band as the millimetre-wave range of the spectrum makes possible high component on-chip integration as well as allowing for the integration of very small high gain arrays.

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