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Ali Hajimiri’s Group Designs a Revolutionary Radar Chip

Prof Hajimiri
Caltech’s Information Science and Technology

Ali Hajimiri, an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, and his team have used revolutionary design techniques to build the world’s first radar on a chip–specifically, they have implemented a novel antenna array system on a single, silicon chip..

Such a built-in radar system in our cars has long been in the domain of science fiction, as well as wishful thinking on the part of commuters. But such gadgets could become available in the very near future, thanks to the High Speed Integrated Circuits group at the California Institute of Technology.

Having essentially redesigned a computer chip from the ground up, the technology is revolutionary enough to be used for a wide range of applications.The chip can, for example, serve as a wireless, high-frequency communications link, providing a low-cost replacement for the optical fibers that are currently used for ultrafast communications.

Hajimiri’s chip runs at 24 GHz (24 billion cycles in one second), an extremely high speed, which makes it possible to transfer data wirelessly at speeds available only to the backbone of the Internet (the main network of connections that carry most of the traffic on the Internet).

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