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This paper discusses the integration of array antennas in chip packages for highly integrated 60-GHz radios. First, we evaluate fixed-beam array antennas, showing that most of them suffer from feed network complexity and require sophisticated process techniques to achieve enhanced performance. We describe the grid array antenna and show that is a good choice for fixed-beam array antenna applications due to its easy feed network design and manufacture. Then, we examine switched-beam array antennas using the Rotman lens or Butter matrix, illustrating that they allow scanning only in one plane and some miss a link even in the boresight direction. Nevertheless, a switched-beam array antenna uses a conceptually simple switch circuit to select the best signal path and may be a cost-effective approach to implementing steerable antennas in the 60-GHz band. Finally, we describe adaptive beam or phased array antennas and highlight the challenges and practical realizations of phased array antennas in both ceramic and organic chip packages for single-chip 60-GHz radios.
Date of Publication: July 2012