Phasor Claims New Phased-Array Design Will Revolutionize Mobile Satcom

[Satellite TODAY Insider 06-13-12] International solutions specialist Phasor has unveiled new communications-on-the-move phased array technology that the company described as a, “paradigm shift in satellite communications.”

   Phasor announced June 12 that it is using SiGe process platforms from TowerJazz to manufacture its innovative transceiver chipset for mobile broadband service on moving platforms such as trains, manned and unmanned airplanes and military vehicles.
   Phasor Solutions Managing Director David Garrood said his company is targeting the multi-billion dollar satellite communications and radar market with a system that is able to self-align to a desired signal source and track it in real time.
   “This has never been done before,” said Garrood. “It took the industry over 40 years to develop phased arrays, which are typically expensive to buy and to operate. But now, with the invaluable support of our partners, and in particular TowerJazz, we have been able to deliver semiconductors, which provide an order of magnitude reduction in costs compared to current solutions. Phasor has been able to achieve this milestone with the support of the TowerJazz team and relying on the stability and performance of its SBC18HX process.”
   The Phasor technology aims to allow moving vehicles to communicate with stationary satellites, or antennas that track moving satellites, with no moving parts. Garrood said Phasor chose TowerJazz’s SiGe process over traditional solutions used in phased array radar due to its ability to operate in the required 12GHz to 15GHz bandwidth.
   “We also chose TowerJazz because of its integration capabilities that allow multiple analog and digital functions to be integrated into a single chip,” said Garrood. “Conventional phased arrays followed a similar system design. Phasor offers the opportunity to rethink the system design, providing massive efficiencies in cost. One of our initial targets is wireless Internet access on trains, an estimated available market of over 500 million users worldwide. Airborne satcoms and other comms-on-the-move applications, however, are likely to be larger markets.”
   The Phasor chipsets include radio frequency functions and phase shifting circuits, as well as logic and data modulation/demodulation capabilities.
   “Together, we have begun volume manufacturing to enable a high gain antenna, which consists of 20,000 chips,” TowerJazz Senior Vice President and General Manager Marco Racanelli said in a statement. “In addition, we continue to invest in advanced SiGe and recently announced our latest process, SBC18H3, which supports devices with speeds of 270GHz and offers a path for further performance, power and noise improvement in next-generation products.”

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