Renesas Technology Corp., one of the world's leading semiconductor system
solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets,
has entered into a strategic research collaboration with IMEC,
Europe's leading independent research center in the field of nanoelectronics,
to perform research on 45nm RF transceivers targeting Gbit/s cognitive radios.
To this end, Renesas has joined IMEC's software-defined radio (SDR) front-end
program. This research program includes reconfigurable RF solutions, high-speed/low-power
analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and new approaches to digitize future RF
Researchers from Renesas will reside at IMEC to closely collaborate with IMEC's
research team. In this way, they will build a fundamental understanding and
develop robust solutions for Renesas future mobile electronics products.
On the near term, IMEC's SDR-front-end program targets the development
of a new generation cost-, performance- and power-competitive reconfigurable
radio in 45nm digital CMOS technology. This radio will have a programmable center
frequency from 100MHz to 6GHz and programmable bandwidth from 100kHz to 40MHz
covering all key communication standards, with a merit comparable to state-of-the-art
single mode transceivers.
The research program builds on IMEC's previous groundbreaking 130nm RF
transceiver results (published at ISSCC 2007), namely the world's first
prototype of a true SDR transceiver IC (SCALDIO). Also, further evolutions of
IMEC's record breaking ADCs (merit record by IMEC at ISSCC 2008 of 40Msamples/s,
9 bit, 54fJ/conversion step) will be developed within this collaboration.
"We are excited that one of the world's leading semiconductor companies
has joined our SDR-front-end program. This proves the importance of our recent
results on SDR and ADCs, and reflects the value IMEC brings to its industry
partners in this RF research program;" said Rudy Lauwereins, Vice President
Nomadic Embedded Systems at IMEC. "We are looking forward to a close cooperation
with the Renesas research team, to develop together our upcoming generation
of breakthrough RF designs.
"The ability to develop an innovative RF architecture with scaled-down
CMOS technology and circuit technologies in transceiver products supporting
next-generation cellular standards such as 3GPP-LTE and 4G's is one of
the key differentiators for our products that are superior in cost advantages,
performance and power," said Masao Nakaya, board director and executive
general manager of LSI product technology unit at Renesas Technology Corp. "We
are pleased to be a part of IMEC's SDR-front-end program, collaborating
on the research to explore new technologies for multi-standard RF transceivers.
We aim to contribute to the early realization of next generation mobile phones
by combining our advanced semiconductor solutions with IMEC's R&D
expertise in RF technology."