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.