Terahertz transmitter for radio links with ultra-high data rates.  (from the previous Thor project))

Date: December 18, 2019, No. 113

Measuring platform for future communication

University of Stuttgart receives about EUR two million for a measuring system for ultra-high data rates
[Picture: University of Stuttgart / Institute of Robust Power Semiconductor Systems (ILH)]

As part of its large-equipment initiative, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding new measuring systems for ultra-high data rates for future communication technologies. An innovative and versatile measuring platform at the University of Stuttgart that combines broadband time and frequency domain measurements is among the successful applications. The system is intended to be used to research new technologies that are needed to achieve the ultra-high data rates required for increasing digitalization.

Autonomous driving, Industry 4.0, and the new 5G mobile communications system are just a few of the current buzzwords that describe the increasing digitalization of our living environment. They are accompanied by an unbroken trend toward ever higher data rates on all communication channels. This applies to both the core networks based on fiber optics and the mobile telephony networks, as well as directly to ​​the final mile, the connection of households and businesses to the Internet.

In order to serve the growing hunger for data in society and at the same time keep the demand for energy as well as communication costs in check, new ways and technologies have to be researched. This is done by making additional frequencies in the terahertz range accessible for wireless communication on the one hand and by researching ever more broadband modulation techniques on the other hand. Finally, energy-efficient circuits and systems have to be developed that make this new transmission technology possible.

With this in mind and as part of its large-equipment initiative, the DFG is funding new measuring systems for ultra-high data rates that will be ready for the massive data rate increases of future transmission systems in the fields of electro-optical fiber communication, wireless communication, and previously unused terahertz radio bands.

Exemplary measurement setup (left) of a fast baseband A/D converter (right) (from the previous SPARS project)

Cross-domain configuration for combined time and frequency measurements

In a call for tender characterized by fierce competition, the University of Stuttgart has managed to prevail with an innovative concept. It will now receive funding of EUR 1.8 million for the construction of a measuring platform that combines broadband time and frequency domain measurements in a unified cross-domain approach. In this method, four synchronous channels for signal generation and four channels for signal analysis are operated in a configuration that allows combined time and frequency measurements. The measuring system covers both the baseband range (for example of fiber optic transmission links) up to approximately 100 GHz and the millimeter wave frequency range (for example of terahertz communication links) up to 300 GHz. The novel large-scale device allows a variety of configurations for synchronous time and frequency domain analysis of ultra-broadband communication channels, as well as the simultaneous measurement of transmitter and receiver units during broadband data transmission.

The platform is operated by the Institute of Robust Power Semiconductor Systems (Prof. Ingmar Kallfass, Dr. Sébastien Chartier) and the Institute of Electrical and Optical Communication Engineering (Prof. Manfred Berroth, Dr. Markus Grözing) at the University of Stuttgart. Both institutes have done extensive preliminary work and participate in numerous current and new DFG projects in the field of broadband communications.

Prof. Ingmar Kallfass, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Robust Power Semiconductor Systems, phone: +49 (0)711-685-68747,
Email: Ingmar Kallfass

Prof. Manfred Berroth, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Electrical and Optical Communication Engineering, phone: +49 (0)711 685-67922,
Email: Manfred Berroth

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This picture showsAndrea Mayer-Grenu

Andrea Mayer-Grenu

Scientific Consultant, Research Publications

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