100 Gigabit per second wireless communication

Currently, mobile phone networks (LTE-A) and conventional wireless local area networks (WLAN) provide data rates of up to 1 Gigabit per second. However, demanding services like high definition video streaming require even higher data rates. In the REAL100G.COM project, the System and Circuit Technology research group aims to reach wireless data rates of 100 Gigabits per second.

The greatest challenge in the realisation of multi-Gigabit wireless communication systems lies in energy efficiency. The major portion of the power dissipation is caused by the baseband processor. Feasibility studies have shown that the power consumption of a conventional digital baseband at 100 Gigabits per second will be prohibitively large and will lead to an unacceptably short battery life.

An alternative approach to a digital baseband processor is to use mixed analogue/digital signal processing which allows for improved energy efficiency and reduced hardware complexity. The basic idea is to utilize analogue signal processing for most of the numerically intensive baseband signal processing before converting the signal to the digital domain and subsequently finalize signal processing in the digital domain (cf. Fig 1). Investigations have shown that Parallel spread spectrum sequencing (PSSS) represents a modulation scheme which is particularly well suited for mixed analogue-digital signal processing.

Fig.1: Conventional digital baseband processor concept and mixed analog/digital baseband processor with predominantly analog signal processing for a wireless receiver

In the REAL100G.COM project, we investigate system architectures, modulation schemes, and signal processing technologies based on PSSS in order to develop energy- and hardware-efficient baseband processors for future 100 Gbit/s wireless links. It is planned to implement a 100 Gbit/s PSSS baseband processor IC as a demonstrator.

The project is carried out in collaboration with University of Stuttgart and the Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus. It is part of the priority programme “Ultra-high Speed Wireless Communication for Mobile Internet Access” of the German Research Foundation (SPP1655).