Imec and Renesas ELECTRONICS pioneer high-performance RF solutions in 28nm CMOS technology

(PresseBox) ( Leuven, Belgium, )
At this week's VLSI circuits Symposium in Kyoto (Japan) (June 12-14, 2013), imec and Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions unveiled the world's first multi-standard radio frequency (RF) receiver in 28nm CMOS technology, and a 28nm analog-to-digital converter (ADC) targeting wide-bandwidth standards such as LTE-advanced and next-generation WiFi.

Imec specializes in developing reconfigurable RF solutions, high-speed/low-power ADCs and new approaches to digitize future RF architectures and minimize antenna interface requirements. The company combines innovative design with advanced chip technology (28nm and beyond) to develop small, low-cost, energy-efficient RF solutions with competitive performance. Imec aims at developing solutions that cover all key broadband communication standards including emerging cellular and connectivity standards such as LTE advanced and next-generation WiFi.

The 28nm receiver is a linear software-defined radio (SDR) operating from 400MHz up to 6GHz and supporting reconfigurable RF channel bandwidths up to 100MHz. Through novel design and architecture techniques, the receiver operates at a low standard supply of 0.9V, while maintaining +5dBm of out-of-band IIP3 and tolerating 0dBm blockers. It achieves noise figures down to 1.8dB, occupies an active area of 0.6mm2, and consumes less than 40mW.

The ADC is a 410MS/s dynamic 11bit pipelined SAR ADC in 28nm CMOS. It achieves a peak Signal-to-Noise Distortion Ratio (SNDR) of 59.8dB at 410MS/s with a power consumption of 2 mW. By combining novel digital calibration techniques with a new ADC architecture, an excellent energy efficiency was achieved. The ADC, including an on-chip calibration engine, occupies an active area of 0.11mm2.

"High-volume consumer devices require advanced chip technology that is cost-effective," stated Joris Van Driessche, program manager of reconfigurable radios at imec. "Along with our partner, Renesas, we are thrilled to continue to offer innovative solutions to the market. Our 28nm wireless receiver brings the electronics industry closer to the development and adoption of next-generation wireless devices."

"High level integration and low power are strongly required for recent wireless transceivers. There is every possibility of creating epoch-making architecture for RF and analog cores by using fine CMOS technology," said Hisayasu Sato, Senior Manager of 2nd Analog Core Development Department, Core Technology Business Division, 1st Solution Business Unit, Renesas Electronics Corporation. "Through the collaboration with imec, we have been developing cutting-edge technologies. We continue to supply competitive IP cores and solutions to our customers."

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut"), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
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