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CEA-Leti and Nokia Research Center Develop Ultra-Wide Band Radio Front-end Circuit for Remotely Powered Memory Tag

Published on May 27, 2010 at 4:05 AM

CEA-Leti and Nokia Research Center (NRC) have developed an RF front-end circuit that allows very high data rate content exchange between a reader - typically a mobile phone - and a memory tag. This circuit is currently used in the Nokia Explore and Share research prototype.

The circuit exhibits 112 Mb/s data-rate, a dramatic improvement over traditional Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems.

The communication system merges two radio techniques: impulse Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), used for data transfer, and narrow-band Ultra high frequency (UHF) signal, used for synchronization and remote powering.

The same circuit is able to manage physical layer communication at both ends of the communication link, i.e. the same front-end can be used either in the memory tag or in the reader. Moreover, the circuit may power itself from the narrow-band signal and provide power for an external non-volatile memory device. The circuit also includes a battery-powered mode to increase the reading distance.

CEA-Leti and NRC will deliver a presentation on the circuit at the 2010 Symposium on Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) Technology and Circuits. The 2010 VLSI Symposium will be held on June 15-18, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

CEA is a French research and technology public organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC excellence centre, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200mm and 300mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,400 patent families. In 2008, contractual income covered more than 75% of its budget worth 205 M€.

Posted May 27th, 2010

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