Digitally Pre-Distorted Millimeter-Wave PAM4 Transceiver for Contactless Connectors

Tech ID: 29750 / UC Case 2018-170-0

Summary

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Electrical Engineering have proposed a digitally pre-distorted, non-coherent, millimeter-wave PAM4 (pulse amplitude modulation-4) system to be implemented as part of a contactless connector.

Background

Contactless connectors for chip-to-chip or board-to-board communications may be used in lieu of physically connected copper wires to transfer electromagnetic energy over a short-distance air gap. Although inductive and capacitive coupling offer a compact and integrated circuit solution for such connectors, the increased bandwidth required for coupled communication channels necessitates a larger form factor. The trade-off between bandwidth and form factor limits bandwidth scalability and inhibits system integration.

Innovation

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Electrical Engineering have proposed a digitally pre-distorted, non-coherent, millimeter-wave PAM4 (pulse amplitude modulation-4) system to be implemented as part of a contactless connector. The contactless connector addresses the trade-off between bandwidth and form factor discussed above by utilizing a wide fractional bandwidth, reducing the footprint of the coupling antenna, and eliminating carrier recovery circuitry.As compared to existing technologies, the proposed PAM4 system exhibits an increased energy efficiency of 3.98 pJ/bit and an increased data rate of 20 Gb/s.

Applications

  • Wireless connectors 
  • Chip-to-chip and board-to-board communications

Advantages

  • Increased energy efficiency over existing technology 
  • Increased data rate over existing technology 
  • Addresses challenge of bandwidth and form factor trade-off in existing contactless connectors

Related Materials

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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Inventors

  • Chang, Mau-Chung Frank

Other Information

Keywords

PAM4 system; PAM4 transceiver; contactless connector

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