November 14, 2017

VTT’s technology brings high-frequency costs down

On the left is an amplifier using traditional waveguide technology, while the component on the right is based on VTT's micromechanical waveguides.
On the left is an amplifier using traditional waveguide technology, while the component on the right is based on VTT's micromechanical waveguides.
VTT

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a manufacturing technology that enables cost-efficient integration of very high-frequency terahertz systems for application in telecommunications and imaging, and for smaller space instruments.

VTT’s new technology opens up possibilities to operate systems exceeding 100 gigahertz, something that’s been limited by the expensive manufacturing methods, and also due to current waveguide-based systems being too large for wide scale use.

VTT’s cost-efficient method uses micromechanical waveguides manufactured on a silicon wafer that allow the low-loss transfer of signals to the active millimetre wave monolithic integrated circuits (MMIC).

“Our goal is to reduce the production costs to one tenth of what can be achieved with the current standard manufacturing methods, while making the components significantly smaller,” explains team leader Pekka Pursula from VTT.

Possible fields of application for VTT’s new technology is in telecommunications for faster wireless data transfer, or in high-frequency imaging such as security cameras that are able to reveal hidden objects underneath clothing, or for the manufacturing of even smaller remote mapping devices used in space satellites.

The technology is still being developed further but was already awarded at the European Microwave Conference. VTT’s intention is to offer the manufacturing technology and the research as a service to the industrial sector.

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