mm-Wave Data Transmission and Measurement Techniques: A Holistic Approach

Abstract: The ever-increasing demand on data services places unprecedented technical requirements on networks capacity. With wireless systems having significant roles in broadband delivery, innovative approaches to their development are imperative. By leveraging new spectral resources available at millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequencies, future systems can utilize new signal structures and new system architectures in order to achieve long-term sustainable solutions. This thesis proposes the holistic development of efficient and cost-effective techniques and systems which make high-speed data transmission at mm-wave feasible. In this paradigm, system designs, signal processing, and measurement techniques work toward a single goal; to achieve satisfactory system level key performance indicators (KPIs). Two intimately-related objectives are simultaneously addressed: the realization of efficient mm-wave data transmission and the development of measurement techniques to enable and assist the design and evaluation of mm-wave circuits. The standard approach to increase spectral efficiency is to increase the modulation order at the cost of higher transmission power. To improve upon this, a signal structure called spectrally efficient frequency division multiplexing (SEFDM) is utilized. SEFDM adds an additional dimension of continuously tunable spectral efficiency enhancement. Two new variants of SEFDM are implemented and experimentally demonstrated, where both variants are shown to outperform standard signals. A low-cost low-complexity mm-wave transmitter architecture is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. A simple phase retarder predistorter and a frequency multiplier are utilized to successfully generate spectrally efficient mm-wave signals while simultaneously mitigating various issues found in conventional mm-wave systems. A measurement technique to characterize circuits and components under antenna array mutual coupling effects is proposed and demonstrated. With minimal setup requirement, the technique effectively and conveniently maps prescribed transmission scenarios to the measurement environment and offers evaluations of the components in terms of relevant KPIs in addition to conventional metrics. Finally, a technique to estimate transmission and reflection coefficients is proposed and demonstrated. In one variant, the technique enables the coefficients to be estimated using wideband modulated signals, suitable for implementation in measurements performed under real usage scenarios. In another variant, the technique enhances the precision of noisy S-parameter measurements, suitable for characterizations of wideband mm-wave components.