Success stories

The ICT Area of Advance can highlight several success stories where research conducted during many years at Chalmers now are being implemented in industry. Some examples are fiberoptic communication (ultrafast optical sampling), microwave circuits (mm-wave communication), software quality (efficient testing methods), THz components (space science), photonics (surface-emitting lasers), and antennas (measurements on wireless devices).

Antenna research leads to successful spinoff company, now world leader in tests of LTE devices

The theoretical foundation for the testing of wireless devices in reverberation chambers was made at Chalmers more than 10 years ago. Technically, the work is based on testing in reverberation chambers with MIMO and OFDM representing rich isotropic multipath under both frequency-flat and -selective fading.
The scientific work paved the way to a spinoff company,, founded year 2000. Ten years later, more than 15 people have been hired. More than 60 test systems sold worldwide in 2011 for testing of wireless devices.


P.-S. Kildal and K. Rosengren, “Correlation and capacity of MIMO systems and mutual coupling, radiation efficiency and diversity gain of their antennas: Simulations and measurements in reverberation chamber”, IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 42, no. 12, pp. 102-112, Dec. 2004.
 P.-S. Kildal, A. Hussain, X. Chen, C. Orlenius, A. Skårbratt, J. Åsberg, T. Svensson, T. Eriksson, Threshold Receiver Model for Throughput of Wireless Devices with MIMO and Frequency Diversity Measured in Reverberation Chamber, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Wireless Letters, Vol. 10, pp. 1201-1204, 2011.

Terahertz mixers for the Herschel Space Observatory


At early 1990th, superconducting Hot-Electron Bolometer (HEB) mixers were proposed for high sensitivity and high spectral resolution THz spectrometers with the goal to extend the accessible frequency range of radio astronomical observations. After more than 10 years of research, such mixers, made of extremely thin films of NbN, were produced at Chalmers University of Technology, demonstrating the world best performance.
In the year 2005, eight such mixers were delivered to the Space Organization of the Netherlands, the PI of the High resolution Instrument for Far- Infrared (HIFI) of the ESA’a corner stone mission- Herschel Space Observatory. Chalmers’ mixers covered the highest frequency band of the HIFI, 1.4-1.9THz, the frequency range where observations from the ground is not possible due to the severe atmosphere absorption.
With its 3.5m primary mirror, Herschel became the largest space observatory ever launched. Among its many tasks was detection of water, carbon, and many other mono-, bi-, and multi-atomic molecules determining the formation and evolution of starts and planets. After the launch in May 2009, Herschel/HIFI has delivered rich data using Chalmers mixers. Among others: broadband line survey of Orion molecular cloud in our galaxy, galactic observations of ionized carbon (the major cooler of the interstellar medium).
S. Cherednichenko, V. Drakinsky, T. Berg, P. Khosropanah, and E. Kollberg, Hot-electron bolometer terahertz mixers for the Herschel Space Observatory, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 79, 034501 (2008).; De Graauw T, Helmich FP, Phillips TG, et al, The Herschel-Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI), ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS Volume: 518 Article Number: L6, pp.1-7. 2010.

60 GHz circuit design research at Chalmers gives communication products

Research in the 1990’s and early 2000 on wireless LAN (WLAN) for very high frequencies (so-called mm-wave) between Chalmers and Ericsson is now being commercialised at several Swedish companies. As a result, key personnel have been hired from Chalmers to Swedish industry.
The most advanced integrated high-performance transmit/receive designs for 60 GHz WLAN and beyond has given:
  • Secure communication networks at 60 GHz: Manufactured and delivered products to customer by Sivers IMA, Kista
  • Made it possible for Ericsson to offer E-band radio products for LTE (Advanced) mobile backhaul
  • Spin-off company Gothmic AB

Gunnarsson, S.E.; Karnfelt, C.; Zirath, H.; Kozhuharov, R.; Kuylenstierna, D.; Alping, A.; Fager, C.; , Highly integrated 60 GHz transmitter and receiver MMICs in a GaAs pHEMT technology, Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of , vol.40, no.11, pp. 2174- 2186, Nov. 2005

Microwave circuit research gives satellite communication products

Microwave circuit research on so-called zero-bias mixers between Ruag Space and Chalmers has produced publications, one licentiate examination and designs for frequency converters in satellite telecom products.
Products have been sold by Ruag Space to satellite customers  meaning  that  the research has directly strengthened Swedish space industry. Key personnel educated at Chalmers has been employed by Swedish telecom industry.
This project was supported by VINNOVA, Chalmers and Saab Space 2003-2005 through competence centre CHACH, predecessor of the GHz Centre. 
Andreas Adahl; Herbert Zirath; A Reliable Ka-band Sub-harmonic Mixer for Satellite Converters, Compound Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Symposium, 2006. CSIC 2006. IEEE , vol., no., pp.65-68, Nov. 2006

Fibre optic parametric amplifiers gives applications and products

ICT conducted  pioneering research in the 1990s including the first demonstration of continuous wave gain and subsequently also world record optical gain (70 dB) and optical bandwidth (81 nm flat 40-dB gain).
In addition, several applications were investigated, most notably all-optical ultrafast sampling of optical signals which was commercialized in 2004.
This project was supported by VR, VINNOVA, SSF and EU (FP7) .
 This project has given:
  • Six PhD dissertations
  • A highly cited invited review paper (210 citations according to Web of Science) : J. Hansryd, P.A. Andrekson, M. Westlund, J. Li, and P.O. Hedekvist, “Fiber-based optical parametric amplifiers,” IEEE J. of Sel. Topics in Quantum Electron., v.8, pp. 506-520, 2002
  • Spinoff company EXFO Sweden AB  with three generation of products

Hansryd J., Andrekson P.A., Westlund M., Li J., and Hedekvist P.O., Fiber-based optical parametric amplifiers (2002) IEEE J. of Sel. Topics in Quantum Electron., v.8, pp. 506-520

Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs)

Research on VCSELs started at Chalmers in the mid-1990’s. Today Chalmers is leading the development of high speed VCSELs for data communication and high power, single mode VCSELs for sensing applications.
The technology has been transferred to Tyco Electronics (formerly Zarlink Semiconductor AB), Järfälla, where high speed VCSELs are fabricated and used in e.g. high capacity optical cables for storage area networks and high performance computing systems.The project was supported by SSF, VINNOVA and the European Union.
P. Westbergh, J.S. Gustavsson, B. Kogel, A. Haglund, A. Larsson and A. Joel (2010) Speed enhancement of VCSELs by photon lifetime reduction. ELECTRONICS LETTERS 24th June 2010 Vol. 46 No. 13

QuickCheck for automatic software testing - setting functional programming to work

QuickCheck, an automatic testing of software against properties that  specify correct behaviour mathematically have been developed by ICT researchers. The sofyware works by that discrepancies reveal bugs in the code. The project was supported by the Swedish Research Council, SSF (2002-2006)and EU FP7 (2008-2011).
The project have given:
  • Research tool first released in 2000 for Haskell programs – with 370 citatons.
  • Others have emulated for: Perl, Python, Java, Javascript, Ruby, F#, C++,…
  • Spin-off company QuviQ founded in 2006 with customers around the globe.
  • A Ericsson radio base station tested with QuickCheck.
  • Company collaboration: the FP7 project have united Chalmers, Quviq, Ericsson and four other partners with focus on property-based testing.

Koen Claessen and John Hughes (2000).QuickCheck: A Lightweight Tool for Random Testing of Haskell Programs . Proc. Of International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP), ACM SIGPLAN. Retrieved 2006-01-29.

Open source tool: MiniSAT - the software standard

ICT researchers have developed award-winning software, MiniSat, for the satisfiability problem. Satisfiability determines whether a given logical formula can ever be true, a problem of central importance in e.g., algorithmics, artificial intelligence, hardware design, electronic design automation and hardware/software verification.
The research article by the authors Niklas Een & Niklas Sörensson has over 1000 citations. 

The outcome of this project is:

  • In international research: automated reasoning, formal methods and model checking
  • In industrial applications: MiniSAT has been used for hardware Verification in industrial tools for automated design and verification.

Eén, Niklas and Sörensson, Niklas (2003) An Extensible SAT-solver. Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing (LNCS), 6th International Conference, SAT, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, May 5-8, 2003, Selected Revised Papers. - 0302-9743. ; 2919/2004, s. 502-518 

Published: Fri 08 Apr 2011. Modified: Fri 29 Jun 2012