The aim of the NANOTEC project is to significantly enhance the reliability of RF-MEMS switches by using nanostructured materials (e.g. as dielectrics) as well as to demonstrate highly adaptive and miniaturised telecommunication and RF-sensing circuits, antenna front-ends and systems enabled by monolithical integration of low-loss RF-MEMS switches in GaN/GaAs/SiGe IC foundry processes from OMMIC, IHP and TRT. Future smart systems for communication and RF-sensing will have to achieve autonomous and self-reconfigurable operations, for real-time and efficient self-optimization of their performance. The needs for such reconfigurable systems are not only to overcome the design trade-offs that current analogue components must endure, but also to realize new and more efficient systems with improved functionality (i.e. better performance) as well as reduced size, weight, power and cost. The aim of the NANOTEC project is to develop new technology approaches and methodologies for existing as well as future generations of such highly adaptive and also reliable RF-systems to be integrated within T/R modules, smart active/passive and reflect array antennas, etc. The following technologies are now emerging to face all of these challenges, Nanostructured materials (to be used as dielectrics in RF-MEMS devices in order to achieve more reliable devices by minimizing charging effects and by improving thermal dissipation under high power), Wide Band Gap (WBG) semiconductors (such as GaN and AlN who are expected to play a fundamental role in the development of future smart systems, exhibiting unprecedented power performance along with suitable reconfigurable architectures, and adaptability to operational changes), RF MEMS switches (used as switching/tuning circuits, they appear as an enabling technology in order to achieve the reconfigurability required for future smart systems due to the highly attractive RF properties such as low insertion loss and power consumption as well as high isolation, power handling capability (linearity) and possibilities for high level of integration), SiGe BiCMOS (those technologies are becoming more and more the standard to realize complex microwave and mm-mave circuitry for certain RF communication and sensing applications). Finaly NANOTEC builds strongly on the monolithic integration of RF-MEMS components with active microwave/mm-wave devices like GaN, GaAs and SiGe BiCMOS transistors. This allows a tighter integration, reduced parasitics and, in case of the Si/SiGe BiCMOS integration with RF MEMS, a monolithic circuit complexity significantly beyond the current state of the art.
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And download the Recommendations on Beyond CMOS Nanoelectronics Research report at: Recommendations on Beyond CMOS Nanoelectronics Research