Monolithic Phased Arrays: Radiofrequencies to Optical Frequencies

Open to the Public

Part of the Special Joint ECE and NYU WIRELESS Seminar Series 

Circuits: Terahertz (THz) and Beyond


Monolithic Phased Arrays: Radiofrequencies to Optical Frequencies


Hossein Hashemi

  • Professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at USC
  • Ming Hsieh Faculty Fellow
  • Co-director of Ming Hsieh Institute at USC

Research Website: Hossein Hashemi Group (HH Lab)


In 1909, accepting the Nobel Prize for Physics for “contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy”, Karl Ferdinand Braun stated “It had always seemed most desirable to me to transmit the waves, in the main, in one direction only.” He also presented a schematic of a three-antenna system that can form a desired beam in one direction. In the following decades, this simple scheme was advanced to large-scaled phased arrays used for military radars in WWII and beyond. In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that advancement in integrated circuit technology will enable monolithic microwave phased arrays that can revolutionize radar. Nearly four decades later, monolithic microwave silicon phased arrays were reported for the first time. Today, monolithic radio frequency, microwave, and millimeter wave phased arrays are turning mainstream in commercial products including automotive radars and high speed wireless transceivers including those for the upcoming 5G wireless standards.

Shortly following the invention of laser in 1960, electronically-steerable laser beam was conceived to be useful in optical radars (nowadays known as lidars), free-space optical communications with moving transmitter and/or receiver, and projection television. While optical beam steering has been around for several decades, monolithic optical phased arrays are more recent thanks to advancements in fabrication technology. Very recently, the interest in optical beam-steering and monolithic optical phased arrays has increased thanks to the application of low-cost compact lidar in self-driving cars. Other potential application of optical phased arrays include free-space optical communications, imaging, sensing, display, and holography.

This talk will cover the basics, history, and applications of phased arrays followed by selected state-of-the-art realizations of phased array systems and related components from radio frequencies up to optical frequencies.


Hossein Hashemi

Hossein Hashemi is a Professor of Electrical Engineering, Ming Hsieh Faculty Fellow, and the co-director of the Ming Hsieh Institute at the University of Southern California. His research interests include analog, mixed-signal, and radio-frequency integrated circuits; photonic integrated circuits; electro-optical integrated systems; and implantable integrated solutions. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electronics Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Hossein is an Associ-ate Editor for the IEEE Journal of Solid state Circuits (2013 – present). He was a Distinguished Lec-turer for the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (2013 – 2014); member of the Technical Program Committee of IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) (2011 – 2015), IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium (2011 – present), and the IEEE Compound Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Symposium (CSICS) (2010 – 2014); an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems—Part I: Regular Papers (2006–2007) and the IEEE Transac-tions on Circuits and Systems—Part II: Express Briefs (2004–2005); and Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal of Solid state Circuits (Oct 2013 & Dec 2013).

Hossein was the recipient of the 2016 Nokia Bell Labs Prize, 2015 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Outstanding Young Engineer Award, 2008 Defense Advanced Re-search Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He received the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Junior Faculty Research Award in 2008, and was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar for the Outstanding Achievement in Ad-vancement of Engineering by the Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage in 2011. He was a co-recipient of the 2004 IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits Best Paper Award for “A Fully-Integrated 24 GHz 8-Element Phased-Array Receiver in Silicon” and the 2007 IEEE Interna-tional Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper for “A Fully Integrated 24 GHz 4-Channel Phased-Array Transceiver in 0.13um CMOS based on a Variable Phase Ring Oscillator and PLL Architecture”.

Hossein is the co-editor of the books “Millimeter-Wave Silicon Technology: 60 GHz and Beyond” published by Springer in 2008, and “mm-Wave Silicon Power Amplifiers and Transmitters” pub-lished by the Cambridge University Press in 2016.