Making Radio Chips for Hell
Mixer IC works at 500 degrees Celsius, so it can take the heat on the surface of Venus, inside a natural gas turbine, or in the bowels of a 6-kilometer deep oil well. There are still some places the Internet of Things fears to tread. Researchers at the University of Arkansas and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden, are building a radio for those places.
This month, in IEEE Electron Device Letters,they describe a mixer, a key component of any wireless system, that works just fine from room temperature all the way up to 500ºC. It’s the first mixer IC capable of handling such extremes. IEEE Fellow and Arkansas professor of electrical engineering Alan Mantooth specializes in electronics for extreme environments.
Of several projects “one of the more sexy is trying to put a rover or some sort of instrument on [the surface of the planet]Venus that will last for more than two hours, which is the current record.” An high temperature for average day on Venus reaches 467ºC. But it’s asulfuricheat.