With the launch of its single-chip reconfigurable receiver achieving industry
state-of-the-art performance, IMEC
matures its flexible radios in deep sub-micron digital CMOS to ease the implementation
of both the analog and the digital functionality into the same system-on-chip
(SoC). The architecture optimally benefits from the speed advantages of chip
technology scaling resulting in low cost, low power radios. In parallel, IMEC
is working on digitally inspired flexible radios ultimately targeting a true
At today’s International Solid State Circuit Conference, IMEC presents
its 45nm single-chip reconfigurable receiver with power, performance and area
competitive to state-of-the-art single mode radios. The receiver is fully software
configurable across all channels in the frequency bands between 100MHz and 5GHz.
The IC uses only 1.1V supply voltage and has an active area of 2mm2. Depending
on its configuration it consumes from 54 to 105mA. The radio can be configured
for multiple state-of-the-art and future wireless protocols such as GSM, GPS,
EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA, CDMA2K, EVDO, LTE, 802.11ab/gn, DVB-H and 802.16d/e. Its
high level of integration and ultra-low power consumption make it suitable for
use in a wide range of both single and multi-mode mobile devices – handsets,
smart phones, PDAs, PC cards, USB dongles, etc.
The complete transceiver will be taped out in April 2009. Industry can get
a head start for their mobile devices of 2011, by joining IMEC’s reconfigurable
radio research program in which they get access to the technology and build
up early knowhow on the transceiver.
At ISSCC2009, IMEC also presents a new architecture for a multi-mode multi-rate
cascade sigma-delta low-pass analog to digital convertor (ADC) in 90nm digital
CMOS. The ADC achieves a dynamic range of 85 to 66dB for GSM, Bluetooth and
UMTS with power consumption of only 3.4 to 6.8mW showing the intrinsic power
efficiency of the architecture without specific circuit optimization. “This
achievement indicates the move to more digitally-inspired flexible radios;”
said Rudy Lauwereins, Vice President Smart Systems Technology Office at IMEC.
“Step by step we are removing scaling unfriendly analog building blocks
and replacing them by digital implementations making the radio even more flexible.”
Going one step further IMEC also reports a prototype RF band-pass sigma-delta
ADC with a bandwidth of 60MHZ at 2.4GHz. With this architecture, ultimately,
the analog to digital conversion would be placed at the antenna shifting all
signal conditioning to the digital domain. “Currently the performance
is not yet sufficient but we have a clear roadmap towards the dream of digital
software radios,” said Rudy Lauwereins.