Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"WIRELESS: transceiver-on-chip now possible"
A research team from Michigan-based universities says it has succeeded in integrating the last two components needed to create a one-chip wireless transceiver. "Our research group picked up the challenge to integrate the last two off-chip components onto a wireless transceiver," said Michael Flynn, head of the wireless-interface group at the Wireless Integrated Microsystems Engineering Research Center (WIMS ERC) at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). "Thanks to Kamal Sarabandi, we have demonstrated a Zigbee [2.4-GHz] wireless link using our 1-centimeter-square slot antenna and thanks to probably the world's foremost expert on RF MEMS [microelectromechanical systems for radio frequencies], Clark Nguyen, we have also developed a wineglass-like resonator to replace the off-chip quartz crystal. "Now all the wireless components can be on one chip � enabling everything from hearing aide-sized cell phones to smart dust," said Flynn. Kamal Sarabandi, a member of the WIMS ERC, is director of the Radiation Laboratory at the Electrical Engineering Computer Science (EECS) College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Clark Nguyen, who developed the wineglass resonator, is an EECS associate professor. "Sarabandi's group has been talking to Intel about commercializing the antenna design in wireless laptop computers, and others have been showing interest in the wineglass resonator," said Flynn.