Thomas Zwick

Millimeter Wave Transceivers for High Volume Applications


The enormous technological progress accomplished over the last decades facilitates the utilization of millimeter-wave frequencies for mass products like automotive radars, industrial sensors, high-speed data communication links or medical applications. The main enablers are the semiconductor technologies with constantly improving cut-off frequencies reaching several hundred GHz. The dominant limiting factor though for the mass production of low-cost millimeter-wave systems above 100 GHz is, that suitable commercial packaging technologies are not yet available.

In this talk, a short overview on the packaging of mmw transceivers is provided together with several particular approaches like the idea of integrating a complete mmw frontend, including antenna, into one small solderable surface-mount device (SMD). The key goal is that no mmw signal is leaving the package and all mmw interconnects are realized within the package. Antennas can thereby be realized on- and off-chip which will be shown in detail. The final SMT solderable mmw transceiver with the low-cost wire-bond solutions and off-chip antennas in a completely molded 8 mm by 8 mm QFN package is presented. An application example of a complete radar system with the packaged transceiver soldered on a baseband PCB with microprocessor and lens above the chip to yield a narrow beam is shown. The complete module has a size of 35 mm x 35 mm x 25 mm and allows distance measurements with a high accuracy. An outlook on packages for high data rate transmission conclude the talk.


Thomas Zwick received the Dipl.-Ing. and the Dr.-Ing. degrees from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany, in 1994 and 1999, respectively. From 1994 to 2001 he was a research assistant at the Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik und Elektronik (IHE) at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany. In February 2001, he joined IBM as research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA.

From October 2004 to September 2007, Thomas Zwick was with Siemens AG, Lindau, Germany. During this period, he managed the RF development team for automotive radars. In October 2007, he became a full professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. He is the director of the Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE) at the KIT. He is author or co-author of over 300 technical papers and 20 patents. His research topics include wave propagation, stochastic channel modeling, channel measurement techniques, material measurements, microwave techniques, millimeter wave antenna design, wireless communication and radar system design.

Thomas Zwick’s research team received over 10 best paper awards on international conferences. He served on the technical program committees (TPC) of several scientific conferences. In 2013 Dr. Zwick was general chair of the international Workshop on Antenna Technology (iWAT 2013) in Karlsruhe and in 2015 of the IEEE MTT-S International Conference on Microwaves for Intelligent Mobility (ICMIM) in Heidelberg. He also was TPC chair of the European Microwave Conference (EuMC) 2013 and General TPC Chair of the European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2017. From 2008 until 2015 he has been president of the Institute for Microwaves and Antennas (IMA). T. Zwick became selected as a distinguished IEEE microwave lecturer for the 2013 to 2015 period with his lecture on “QFN Based Packaging Concepts for Millimeter-Wave Transceivers”. Since 2017 he is member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.