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Wireless Display Technologies and Implementation

Introduction After careful review of several sources on the topic, I have decided to take a look at wireless display technologies and the details of their implementation. The following is a brief summary of the details of implementation and the theoretical motivations behind decisions made in the design process.

Figure 1 Added from 802.11ad paper

The desire for wireless solutions to connectivity and communication is ever increasing. As consumers have moved from PCs to laptops, and now to tablets and smartphones, display technology has evolved to keep up with higher demands for quality, space efficiency, and weight. From CRT to LED there have been many improvements to display technology, and we sit on the edge of another revolution right now. Wireless display technology is the logical next step to eliminate the need for yet another cable. With the use of wireless communication technology, a cell phone can connect directly to a display panel, and then a tablet can seamlessly switch to use the same screen without any physical reconfiguration of the system. From a consumer standpoint this is highly desirable.

Competing Standards

Currently the Intel solution is one of the leading competitors in the wireless display arena. The WiDi solution uses WiFi direct to take advantage of the existing standards of WiFi to connect to the display panel and to transmit 1080p video and 5.1 surround audio. This paper will look closely at the hardware implementation of a transmitter build upon the 802.11n concept of using multiple antennas to increase transmission rate and reduce error rate. The transmitter built by SiBEAM, operates in the 60GHz band and is able to pass uncompressed video data from source to panel. This allows the protocol to be a direct replacement for HDMI or DVI cables, because it preserves the HDCP encryption and also the uncompressed lossless form of the data.

Figure 2 Added from SiBEAM PDF

The 802.11ad standard will extend the popularity of the the WiFi standard into the 60GHz band. It will borrow many of the properties of the preceding 802.xx standards but will extend communications into the UWB spectrum.

Implementation The SiBEAM transmitter operates in the unlicensed 60GHz band, which allows a wide bandwidth of about 2.5GHz for the operation of a channel. At this Ultra Wide Bandwith(UWB)

the requirement of spectral efficiency on the channel is dramatically reduced. According to theoretical calculations, the 802.11n standard with a channel bandwidth of 40MHz would require 25bit/Hz in order to achieve a data rate of 1 gigabit. In contrast, the UWB 60GHz carrier channel at 2500MHz bandwidth would require only .4bit/Hz to achieve the same rate. This savings in spectral data efficiency will allow the SiBEAM transmitter to use a much simpler modulation scheme, which will pack far fewer bits into each transmitted symbol. This will lead to much better error rates, and because of the UWB characteristic, will still result in acceptable throughput. Another huge advantage of the 60GHz millimeter wave band is the use of multiple antennas to increase the reliability of the wireless link. There are two separate but key concepts to be aware of in investigating the antenna configuration in the SiBEAM transmitter. The first unique feature of the 60GHz band is that the antenna size is greatly reduced even compared to the already small sizes of the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The useful antenna size is actually so small that SiBEAM is able to design chip scale antennas for the wireless transmitter. This means that the antennas can be built directly into the silicon, reducing production cost and increasing the reliability of the antenna positioning. The ability to integrate dozens of antennas in silicon while maintaining sufficient antenna gain allows for smaller circuit boards and ultimately lower cost and size of the final product.

Figure 3 Added from SiBEAM PDF

The second feature of the 60GHz band has to do with attenuation and reflection of signals. Typically, for low frequency signals it is assumed that much of the signal is either weakened, absorbed, or completely blocked by materials. However, in the higher frequency ranges there is an increasing trend towards reflections and scattering. This means that these propagation effects are even more pronounced in the 60GHz band. SiBEAM has found a way to take advantage of this with the use of multiple antennas and a technique that they refer to as electronic steering. This concept is also referred to as beamforming. This technique takes advantage of complex DSP arrays to control the phase and amplitude of the transmission at each antenna in such a way that the maximal signal is received at the receiver with the proper phase and maximal gain. As explained by SiBEAM, this electronic steering is enabled by the fact that the transmitter continuously captures information about the nature of the RF environment and then uses that feedback to change the nature of the sent signal. The system takes advantage of multipath and constructive interference due to obstacles to actually reinforce the intended message. This increase in performance compensates for much of the decrease in throughput that would be observed with a single antenna system.

Sources -IEEE 802.11ad: Defining the Next Generation Multi-Gbps Wi-Fi Eldad Perahia, Carlos Cordeiro, Minyoung Park, and L. Lily Yang {eldad.perahia; carlos.cordeiro; minyoung.park; lily.l.yang} Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR 97124 -