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Posted: July 6, 2009

IMEC and Renesas to collaborate on on reconfigurable RF transceivers

(Nanowerk News) 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 IMECís 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 architectures.
Researchers from Renesas will reside at IMEC to closely collaborate with IMECís 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, IMECís 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 IMECís previous groundbreaking 130nm RF transceiver results (published at ISSCC 2007), namely the worldís first prototype of a true SDR transceiver IC (SCALDIO). Also, further evolutions of IMECís 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 worldís 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 4Gís 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 IMECís 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 IMECís R&D expertise in RF technology."
Source: IMEC
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