Microwave Journal

CEA-Leti Introduces Plastic mmWave System

for Applications Requiring Ultra-Low Latency and Ultra-High Speed Connectivity

May 28, 2021

As part of its broad focus on mmWave data transfer applications, CEA-Leti has developed a hybrid, ultra-fast, ultra-low latency technology that guides mmWave radio signals through flexible plastic tubing. Called H-Link, the low-cost, energy-saving system ensures Gb/s broadband connectivity that also overcomes the limits of copper wire and optical fiber, such as oxidation of metal and brittleness. In addition to being flexible and less sensitive to vibration and electromagnetism, H-Link’s wireless technology delivers transmission speeds of up to 15 Gb/s.

The system meets next-generation wireless system performance requirements of the automotive, aeronautics, telecom, Industry 4.0 and healthcare sectors. The first-of-its-kind technology can transfer information over distances up to 10 meters at a speed of 15 Gb/s, with an average data transmission speed of 6 Gb/s over a little more than two meters. 

The plastic-based system, which is much lighter than copper, uses one-tenth of the energy of copper and less than fiber-optic cable. In addition, it can be connected by hand with tape, because it uses mWaves rather than nanometer waves (optical fiber) and eliminates the need for heat splicing or welding.

H-Link advantages by application:

    Automotive: 100 percent wireless system delivers strong 360-degree signal and ultra-low energy consumption, which is essential in moving vehicles and that require multiple high speed connections; not affected by vibration
    Aeronautics/space applications: ultra-low power consumption is essential because of limited power supply; low weight is suitable for space missions
    Telemedicine: robotics allows remote treatment, e.g., dentists working with patients in a clinic from a distant office; no cable kinking
    Lab Research: manipulation of robotic arms in enclosed containers, e.g., glove boxes, protects researchers from dangerous materials and eliminates electromagnetic interference that could affect findings
    Industry 4.0, no cable kinking, no electromagnetic interference
    Telecommunications: Reduces cost, power consumption and need for physical/cable links to meet data deluge in data centers. For 5G, need to transfer info from base station to emitting antenna at ultra-low cost.

“H-Link is a highly versatile and adaptable robotic system for multiple applications that use high-data-rate communication for performing scientific, industrial and medical tasks,” said Didier Belot, an RF and mmWave design senior expert at CEA-Leti. “For example, in addition to allowing scientists to perform chemistry experiments or jobs in confined spaces and protected biology work with viruses and bacteria in gloveboxes, the system allows remote micro- and nanotechnology development and remote nuclear material manipulation.”