Frequency Translating Backscatter Modulator With Envelope Control To Support OFDM/QAM And Other Envelope Modulated Wireless Protocols

Tech ID: 29787 / UC Case 2016-688-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new modulator that provides both phase and frequency control.


Unmodulated reflections called ‘in-band blockers’ are a limitation in backscattering or reflective data links such as WiFi. To overcome this, a frequency translation technique that provides spectral separation between modulated and unmodulated reflections is often used. However, this approach controls phase only, not the amplitude. This phase-only control for backscatter links provides compatibility with 802.11.b, but is incompatible with more recently-adopted WiFi standards.


UCLA researchers have designed a new modulator that can backscatter, frequency translate and modulate both amplitude and phase, all in the same device. It overcomes the limitations of the current modulators and is compatible with WiFi standards such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g, and 802.11ac.


  • WiFi 
  • WLAN 
  • Bluetooth 
  • Cellular 
  • mm-wave standards 
  • Pager 
  • 5G Cellular standard


  • Single device for both phase and amplitude manipulation 
  • Compatible with all Wi-Fi standards

State Of Development

Prototype designed.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10505781 12/10/2019 2016-688

Additional Patent Pending


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  • Chang, Mau-Chung Frank

Other Information


Wireless, Wifi, WLAN, Bluetooth, cellular, 5G cellular, modulator

Categorized As