Distributed Active Radiation for THz Signal Generation

K. Sengupta and A. Hajimiri

Despite the aggressive scaling of silicon-based IC’s over the past few decades, the transistor characteristics have yet to improve so that the ‘THz’-range (~300GHz-to-3THz) circuits can be effectively designed using the conventional techniques. This has led the few attempts at signal generation at these frequencies in CMOS to produce very small power levels (e.g., tens of nano-watts)[1,2]. The broad range of applications that could benefit from efficient power generation justifies novel approaches that allow high power generation and efficient
radiation in CMOS. This can be achieved by removing the artificial boundaries between levels of abstraction such as electromagnetics, antenna, propagation and circuits; when we can truly leverage the advantages of the new design space that lies in the confluence of these separate treatments leading to more optimal design [3].