EnSilica to develop next-generation Ka Band satellite transceivers
EnSilica announced it is developing a single-chip Ka band transceiver IC for the European Space Agency (ESA). The mmWave IC is expected to form a key component of next-generation, low-cost hybrid automotive communication terminals—enabling vehicles to always be connected, even when 4G/5G is unavailable.
The IC is being developed as part of ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) project, which enables the European and Canadian industries to explore, through research and development activities, innovative concepts to produce leading-edge satcom products and services, as well as the CASSIS project (Connected Automotive Satellite Service Integrated System), which is led by the UK Satellite Applications Catapult (UKSAC). According to CASSIS, the launch of mega-constellation satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) has dramatically reduced the price of satellite data while simultaneously enabling miniaturization of user communication devices. The CASSIS project leverages UK funding to develop a connectivity solution for use in vehicles, enabling them to always be connected.
CASSIS reports that it is estimated that 27% of automotive use cases will require satellite connectivity by 2025, and ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity will not be possible through the 4G/5G cellular network alone.
Operating at up to 31.5 GHz, the custom Ka band CMOS ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) will form part of an affordable, consumer-scale communications module supporting a flat panel electronically steerable phased array antenna. The hybrid module will communicate with geostationary and LEO satellites, 4G/5G infrastructure, and Wi-Fi communications to deliver high capacity connectivity to cars, small vessels, and aircraft.
“Ka band technologies are set to play an increasingly critical role in enabling the next-generation of low-cost satellite and 5G communications systems,” said Ian Lankshear, CEO at EnSilica. “EnSilica’s mmWave team’s expertise, coupled with the company’s automotive ASIC supply strategy, ideally position us to help our customers develop such ICs in CMOS and address this growing need.”
First samples of the ASIC will be available for evaluation in Q2 2020.
For more information, visit www.ensilica.com.