Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba developing 60GHz transceiver chips

Japanese manufacturers are getting serious about developing their own millimeter-wave communication ICs.

Three companies – Hitachi, Panasonic Corp., and Toshiba Corp – have disclosed they are independently developing 60GHz-waveband radio frequency (RF) transceiver ICs.

All three hope to make ultra-small transceiver modules with integrated antennas, for use in digital home electronics. The first products could appear as early as the second half of 2010.

Until now, Japanese manufacturers have not been actively developing millimeter-wave communication ICs. Market potential was largely unknown, so that the industry, as one equipment engineer puts it, “never made any, even after a standard was released.”

The wind shifted with the release of audio-visual (AV) equipment such as TVs actually utilizing millimeter waves. Equipment complying with the WirelessHD standard utilizing chipsets from SiBEAM, Inc. was released by Panasonic, LG Electronics, Inc., and others.

Expectations are rising for market growth, supported also by an increasing number of plans to equip mobile equipment with Gbit/s-class wireless communication functionality.

Hitachi plans to use millimeter-wave communication to transfer high-definition (HD) video streams between AV equipment, such as wall-screen TVs and Blu-ray Disc recorders.

Panasonic is aiming at applications in mobile phones, which is why they are hoping to single-chip the whole package using CMOS technology.

According to Panasonic, millimeter-wave communication at 1Gbit/s makes it possible to download a 640MB CD in only about 5s, or a 2-hour standard-definition (SD) quality video in about 9s.

Toshiba believes that high-speed millimeter-wave communication will make it possible to achieve completely cordless digital equipment.

Courtesy: Tech On.

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