Six-port technology for high speed data and short range radar

Closeup of electronic componenets
Thor Balkhed

Unlike CMOS/Bipolar integrated circuits designed using silicon technology, the six-port radio circuitry is designed and manufactured utilizing the low cost printed circuit board (PCB) technology.

It performs radio frequency/microwave modulation and demodulation based on the principle of wave interferometry, offering high data speed, e.g., 10 Gbps required by the 5G mobile network in the future. 

The six-port technology can also be used to develop different radar applications for medical care and smart traffic systems.

Today, the Internet based on optical fibers can handle data rates at terabits per second and the cost per bit is decreasing constantly. However, the bottle neck lies after the Internet connection to home, i.e., the so-called last 100-meter connection to apparatus, often requiring wireless radio links, e.g., at 10 gigabits per second as defined by the 5G mobile telephony. 

Therefore, a good radio technology that can handle the Internet speed has an extremely large potential in the future. For more than ten years, we have been doing research on the six-port radio technology for high speed wireless data transmissions. 

The uniqueness of the six-port radio technology can be summarized as follows. Firstly, it utilizes the microwave design principle and offers much larger data capacity than the traditional radio technology. Secondly, it is low cost since it is based on the printed circuit technologies utilizing either organic or ceramic multi-layer substrates. At frequencies higher than 20 GHz, the six-port circuits can also be integrated on silicon or III-V semiconductors, e.g., GaAs.

Six-port radio architecture

Picture above: Six-port radio architecture for parallel and full wave processing. A broadband band antenna (a) is connected to a triplexer (b) for parallel processing with three bandpass filters (c). Six-port modulators and demodulators are used for direct conversion between baseband data (d) and wireless radio signal. The binary baseband data, either electrical or optical, are used directly to modulate the local oscillation (LO) signal utilizing the wave interferometry principle, resulting in high speed data conversion between wired and wireless networks.