Current Projects




Prof. M. Rodwell


High-Frequency Electronics Group




Maps & Directions


Group members


Open Positions


Current Projects






Ph.D. Theses





DARPA THz Electronics:
with Teledyne Scientific.

This is both a device and an IC design program: we seek to develop classical radio transmitter/receiver ICs operating at 670, 820, and 1080 GHz. To do this we are (1) developing InP heterojunction bipolar transistors at the 128 and 64 nm scaling generations, targeting 1.2 and 2.0 THz fmax, and (2) designing full transmitter/receiver front ends  comprising LNA, PA, and PLL for LO synthesis (VCO, frequency dividers and phase detectors).  
















with Teledyne Scientific.

We are developing medium-power amplifiers at 220 GHz for future applications in communications and imaging.   We are also exploring monolithic phased array power amplifier designs at 220, 340, and 650 GHz, seeking to generate sufficient power for long-range high-performance imaging and communications systems at these frequencies.  Present ICs at 220 GHz produce 90 mW output;  ICs taped out in 9/2012 target >300 mW output at 220 GHz.


SRC Nonclassical CMOS Research Center:

In this center we seek to develop MOSFETs with III-V compound semiconductor channels for potential replacement of Si-channel devices in future VLSI systems at and beyond the 10 nm scaling generation.  More details regarding this program can be found at this link.


mm-wave and sub-mm-wave array transceivers

Modern transistors have the bandwidth to support 100-1000GHz radio links.  To exploit this bandwidth in developing high-rate radio links of useful range, we must have high power transmitters, low-noise receivers, and highly-directional, hence large-aperture-area phased arrays.   Antenna areas must be large, hence signal distribution losses are high.  Effective 0.1-1THz transceiver designs must tightly integrate beamformer ICs, antennas, and THz LNAs and PAs within a low-loss THz packaging enviroment.


mm-wave MIMO, mm-wave networks :
with Madhow Group:

In this program we seek to demonstrate high-capacity mm-wave radio communications links using massive spatial parallelism. We are also exploring array techniques for adaptive networking


DARPA Hotspots: with Teledyne Scientific.

The 70-74 and 80-84GHz spectral allocations within E-band will be useful for future ~10Gb/s wireless data networks. For useful range and data transmission rates under real-world conditions, (rain, fog) , high-power (1-10W) power amplifiers are necessary. We are developing high-power, high-efficiency class-B and current-mode class E power amplilfiers for these bands. 250 nm InP HBT technology provides high power density (~1W/mm), while its high bandwidth enables efficient switched-mode operation.


State Density Engineering for nm electronics::
(NSF/SRC  NEB program:with Gossard and Stemmer groups at UCSB, M. Povolotskyi at Purdue)

In this program we are investigating the design of channels for ~4-10 nm gate-length transistors, developing channel designs having high available state density  and high carrier group velocity for high on-current and high quanzation mass for high mobility. The program also supports efforts in the growth of atomically-smooth channels.

ONR 30 THz Schottky Diodes:
with Gossard Group:

Scaling of transistors to 30-100 nm feature sizes has resulted in >1 THz bandwidths. Schottky diodes are simpler devices with fewer parasitics; by our analysis, diode cutoff frequencies approacing 50THz should be feasible at ~10nm feature size. With a 50 THz diode,  direct rectification of the optical field of 30THz (10 micron) IR radiation should be feasible, as should coherent  heterodyne detection at this frequency. We are developing the underlying materials growth and device fabrication processes for such devices.





DARPA PICO; Optical PLLs: with Coldren and Bowers Groups, with Teledyne:

In this program we seek to develop coherent optical receivers using electrical phase-locking of the optical LO. We also seek to demonstrate optical wavelength synthesis for wavelength / frequency control in WDM and LIDAR systems using optical/electrical PLLs with electrical offset-locking in the 10-100 GHz range.



DARPA Flare:
with Teledyne Scientific:

In this program we have developed very linear 1-10 GHz broadband amplifiers with very high third order intercepts yet low dc power consumption. The applications are in radar and in wireless communication. The amplifiers use feedback techniques typical of op-amps, but extend the loop bandwidths to 50 GHz or more.    

We are also developing sample-holds with ~30-40 GHz sample rates, and are investigating other linear high dynamic range GHz mixed-signal ICs.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering