Phased Array Systems in Silicon

A. Hajimiri, A. Komijani, A, Natarajan, R. Chunara, X. Guan, and H. Hashemi

Phased array systems, a special case of MIMO systems, take advantage of spatial directivity and array gain to increase spectral efficiency. Implementing a phased array system at high frequency in a commercial silicon process technology presents several challenges. This article focuses on the architectural and circuit-level trade-offs involved in the design of the first silicon-based fully integrated phased array system operating at 24 GHz. The details of some of the important circuit building blocks are also discussed. The measured results demonstrate the feasibility of using integrated phased arrays for wireless communication and vehicular radar applications at 24 GHz.