In less than 25 years, wireless handsets have become the device of choice for a large proportion of the world’s population to communicate and access the Internet. Yet the radio technology that underpins this revolution has remained essentially unchanged for decades. With the enormous growth in traffic, we now see a plethora of frequency bands being allocated, multiple modes of operation being required in the same device to make sure that users obtain universal coverage from legacy networks as well as the latest standard, and the introduction of MIMO to maximise spectrum efficiency. With all the complexity that this introduces, and the commercial pressures to make handsets smaller and cheaper and shorten design cycles, basic RF performance suffers. Even today operators report network issues arising from degraded RF performance, and this threatens the success of future network technologies such as LTE and LTE-Advanced and cognitive spectrum access.
Handset RF design has arguably reached an impasse. FDD operation is a must for most frequency bands. Bands are already highly fragmented and will become more so. The only feasible approach to FDD at the moment is to use diplexing filters and these are inherently quite narrow band and hard or impossible to tune; therefore each band needs its own diplexer with switch selection. Multi-way switches are increasingly lossy as the number of ways increases. The alternative approach of making handsets able to use only a subset of bands is unattractive to operators who are used to procuring “world handsets”. MIMO is another factor that geometrically increases transceiver complexity, multiplying the number of filters and switches by the number of antennas as well as needing additional receivers and transmitters. MIMO is also limited by the need to implement multiple wideband or tuneable antennas on the terminal.
The ideal solution would be an “aperiodic”, MIMO-capable antenna and transceiver covering the full cellular frequency range, as well as potential cognitive access bands, and all operating modes. Achieving this will require a new transceiver architecture and design approach, possibly applying new physical principles and materials, and perhaps applying old methods in new ways.
This event will bring together RF circuit and system researchers to explore disruptive approaches to radio design, from antenna to baseband. Contributions are invited on topics including (but not limited to) system modelling and design methods; new duplexing approaches; novel transceiver system architectures; and the application of new materials such as graphene. Papers may cover new results or make speculative but well founded proposals.
Please submit summaries of your proposed papers to Louise O'Carroll FitzPatrick (email@example.com) by Friday 17th August 2012. Full versions of selected papers and presentations will be needed 2 weeks before the event.
This joint ICT KTN and Cambridge Wireless SIG is championed by John Haine of Cognovo, Brian Collins of Antenova Ltd and Daniel Bradford of Cambridge Broadband Networks.