RFIC Plenary: Do the networks of the future care about the materials of the past?

Sunday, 2 June 2019
17:30 ~ 19:00

Speaker #1 Headshot

Dr. Ir. Michael Peeters

Program Director
Connectivity+Humanized Technology


Abstract: The traffic in today’s networks, 4G, 5G, mobile or otherwise, seems to be following nicely the exponential expectations projected each year. On the one hand, this is driven by and drives further CMOS scaling for the digital processing of information; on the other hand, this has pushed communication channels to use ever wider bandwidths. Unfortunately, not only the individual endpoint throughputs are increasing, but the amount of endpoints and their capabilities is skyrocketing as well. Moreover, capacity as a KPI is being complemented by reliability and latency as use-cases branch out beyond the traditional human-centric communications and entertainment into e.g. industrial automation, AR/VR and autonomous vehicles.

This is creating a perfect storm at the interface of the analog and digital world, where traditional scaling does not necessarily buy you performance; physical dimensions are dictated not by atom sizes but by quarter-wavelengths of one kind or another; and speeds seem to all be converging at a point where switching frequencies venture far into the super-100GHz territory. For the first time in history, this is true for chip-to-chip, board-to-board, rack-to-rack, datacenter-to-datacenter, fiber and mobile wireless access systems.

Across the design space, this (finally!) has generated renewed interested into solution spaces that are less obvious, or were considered distinctly niche only a couple years ago. We take a look at how we can tackle this, not only from an RFIC circuit design space, but also how new network capacity, reliability and latency requirements can drive technology choices for the next 10 years. This includes novel design and integration options for III-V, more exotic telluride and graphene approaches, but also dielectrics, ceramics and nanostructured materials.

Speaker Bio: A passionate leader with a background in both research and strategy, Dr. Ir. Michael Peeters is Program Director Connectivity+Humanized Technology at imec. Michael has been identifying and implementing state-of-the art technology opportunities in telecommunications through a career that spans two decades.

Both as Head of the Nokia Incubator and the Innovation Portfolio at Nokia, as well as CTO for the Wireless Division at Alcatel-Lucent, his role required him to make sense out of the uncertainty that exists when technological possibilities have to be balanced with business case realities. His team’s responsibility: to see beyond the business analysis and help customers envision how emerging technologies and trends, such as 5G and AI, will impact their networks and end-user community.

Prior to his role as CTO for the Wireless Division, he was CTO for the Wireline Division. The team looked beyond the product roadmap and identified what new trends, technologies and tools were on the horizon and determined how those future opportunities fit into the Alcatel-Lucent pipeline. It was also during this period that the business commercialized VDSL2 Vectoring, an idea conceived 7 years earlier while leading the Bell Labs Access Nodes and DSL Technology department.

He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, many white papers and holds patents in the access and photonics domains. Michael earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Photonics from Vrije Universiteit Brussel as well as a master’s degree in Electrotechnical Engineering.

Outside of work, Michael is passionate about cooking and continues to refine the recipe for the perfect lasagna, balanced by bouts of long-distance running to offset the caloric intake inherent with such a quest.