RF PLATFORM is a European Integrated Project, which is led by the Finnish VTT research organization. The aim of RF PLATFORM is to establish a European technology platform for RF microsystems. At the end of the project, a company shall be established which will act as the single point of contact of companies and institutions wishing to access the capabilities of RF PLATFORM.

RF Micro-electro-mechanical structurses (RF MEMS) and, in general, RF microsystems have not found widespread use in the microwave and millimeter-wave industry despite very promising performance. We believe that this is also due to a lack of access to the specialized technologies available, and especially due to the lack of design kits for established VAD environments as well as due to a lack of specialized design expertise. RF PLATFORM attempts to change this.

The University of Ulm contributes in RF PLATFORM in the following ways:

  • Work package leader of WP1 "Architecture and Competitive Analysis"
  • Work package leader of WP3 "Design support functions"
  • Work package leader of WP4D "79 GHz RF-sensing system test vehicle"

The test structures will also be used to define design primitives which will later assist customers of RF PLATFORM in their design efforts.

Work package 4D will have synergies with a German national project we are involved in, KOKON, where we design Si/SiGe HBT solutions for automotive short-range radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band. It is envisioned that we will use the RF PLATFORM technologies to fabricate modules incorporating Si/SiGe ICs, GaAs-based ICs and high-quality passive structures in a single compact package.

In work package 1, we are reviewing RF sensor and communications systems to find architectures which are particularly suitable for the implementation of RF microsystems. Furthermore, we analyze potential competing technological solutions.

In work package 3, we work closely with our partners in RF PLATFORM in analyzing their processes with respect to microwave and millimeter-wave performance, design test structures, and construct CAD models for specific components. Figure 1 shows an example of a test structure for a capacitive switch fabricated at partner FhG ISIT. Figure 2 is an example of a spiral inductor test structure which will be used to characterize several technologies.

Figure 1: Capacitive Switch
Figure 2: Spiral Inductor