Non-galvanic Interconnects for Millimeter-wave Systems
Licentiate thesis, 2018

Fueled by the increasing demand for higher data rates, millimeter-wave (mmW) systems emerged as a candidate that can provide multi-gigabit per second (Gb/s) transmission. This demand is mainly driven by modern communication systems and several other wireless and sensing applications such as production quality inspection and imaging systems. The full realization of such systems has been always challenged by the lack of low-loss low-cost interconnects and high-level integration. This challenge is more critical in systems operating beyond 100 GHz where conventional packaging techniques would not be suitable from performance perspective.

D-band offers a wide spectrum ranging from 110 to 170 GHz and hence providing wide bandwidth that makes it suitable for high data rate systems. In this thesis, several interconnects that operate at D-band are presented. Different technologies were used to realize the interconnects. Two interconnects are realized in Embedded Wafer Level Ball Grid Array (eWLB) packaging technology. The technology has been widely used for low frequency applications. The proposed interconnects are based on slot antennas radiating to a standard air-filled waveguides. The interconnects achieve an average insertion loss of 3 dB and 3.4 dB across the frequency ranges 110-138 GHz and 116-151 GHz respectively. The proposed interconnects are generic and do not require any galvanic contacts. The utilized eWLB packaging technology is suitable for low-cost high-volume production and allows heterogeneous integration with other technologies as well.

A chip-to-waveguide transition based on unilateral finline structure is also demonstrated. The interconnect consists of a microstrip line implemented on a 75 um-thick substrate. The line then couples to a unilateral finline taper that is mounted in the E-plane of a standard D-band waveguide. The transition achieves a very low loss of only 0.7 dB and covers a very wide band ranging from 110 to 170 GHz.

A chip-to-waveguide transition in a commercial MMIC technology is also presented. The transition is based on Linearly Tapered Slot antenna (LTSA) structure. The antenna is implemented on a 50 um-thick Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) substrate. The transition exhibits an insertion loss of 1 dB across the frequency range 110-170 GHz.

This work presents low-cost high-performance mmW interconnects and addresses integration challenges facing systems operating beyond 100 GHz paving the way for high-volume commercialization of such systems in the future.




waveguide transition




slot antenna









A810, Kemivägen 9, MC2, Chalmers University of Technology
Opponent: Dr. Jan Svedin, Deputy Director of Research at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)


Ahmed Adel Hassona

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Microwave Electronics

A Non-galvanic D-band MMIC-to-Waveguide Transition Using eWLB Packaging Technology

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest,; (2017)p. 510-512

Paper in proceedings

Silicon Taper Based D-Band Chip to Waveguide Interconnect for Millimeter-Wave Systems

IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters,; Vol. 27(2017)

Journal article

A Low-loss D-band Chip-to-Waveguide Transition Using Unilateral Fin-line Structure

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium,; Vol. 2018(2018)p. 390-393

Paper in proceedings

D-band Waveguide Transition Based on Linearly Tapered Slot Antenna

2017 IMAPS Nordic Conference on Microelectronics Packaging (NordPac),; (2017)p. 64-67

Paper in proceedings

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Kollberg Laboratory

Nanofabrication Laboratory

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

Technical report MC2 - Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology: 393


Chalmers University of Technology

A810, Kemivägen 9, MC2, Chalmers University of Technology

Opponent: Dr. Jan Svedin, Deputy Director of Research at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

More information

Latest update

1/8/2020 1