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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S008101/1
Title: Direct Digitisation for Frequency Agile Millimetre Wave Massive MIMO
Principal Investigator: O'Farrell, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Ford, Professor KL Langley, Professor RJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems His Majesty's Government Communications NEC
Real Wireless Ltd Roke Manor Research Ltd Samsung R&D Institute UK
Toshiba Virtual Centre of Excellence in Mobile a
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 January 2023 Value (£): 617,540
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Jul 2018 RF and Microwave Devices Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In recent years there has been a huge explosion in the use of mobile devices such as smartphones, laptop computers and tablets which require a wireless connection to the internet. Numbers are forecast to reach 40 billion worldwide by 2020 as areas as diverse as the home, transport, healthcare, military and infrastructure experience increasing levels of embedded 'smart' functionality and user operability. Major applications such as future 5G communications systems, the Internet of Things and Autonomous Vehicles are driving this technology. At present wireless systems operate at frequencies up to 6GHz. However, there is a growing realisation that the spectrum below 6GHz cannot support the huge data rates being demanded by future users and applications.

The next step is to develop technologies utilising much higher frequencies to give data rates compatible with future demand. Currently, world licencing bodies such as ETSI and ITU have identified millimetre wave frequencies up to 90 GHz as most likely for this expansion in the spectrum. Strategically, the UK must develop wireless technologies to compete on the world stage and increase its competitiveness particularly in competition with the Far East. Superfast 5G level Telecoms infrastructure is central to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, which the UK government has been championing and highlighting in the ten pillars of combined strategy.

Two technology bottlenecks in millimetre wave receivers, which are important aspects of future communication systems, are: 1) current receiver architectures are unable to directly digitise millimetre wave signals with acceptable power consumption, and 2) antenna arrays are not sufficiently frequency agile. This project aims to address both bottlenecks using new techniques developed on the FARAD project. The proposed research will embrace the co-design of antennas, filters and amplifiers with track-and-hold-amplifiers, analogue-to-digital-convertors and digital down conversion. This will result in new receiver architectures for fully digital massive MIMO systems.

The techniques and architectures developed in this project will enable future high-frequency networks to operate efficiently in the new millimetre wave transmission bands. The research will have far-reaching consequences for solving the wireless capacity bottleneck over the next 20 to 30 years and keeping the UK at the forefront of millimetre wave technology and innovation.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk