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Posted: February 9, 2009
IMEC reports low-cost low-power 60GHz solutions in digital 45nm CMOS
(Nanowerk News) At this week's
International Solid State Circuits Conference, IMEC presents a 60GHz
front-end receive chain, phase-locked loop and power amplifier in 45nm
digital CMOS technology. These building blocks pave the way to
second-generation 60GHz radios by 2010 which will rely solely on plain
CMOS, true one-chip solutions.
IMEC also demonstrated multi-gigabit per
second wireless communication with its 60GHz module that integrates IMEC
proprietary antenna and antenna interface with its 45nm multiple antenna RF
IMEC is developing single-chip 60GHz radios using advanced digital CMOS
technology. The RF part optimally benefits from the speed advantages of
chip technology scaling. 45nm Digital CMOS also allows to achieve the high
speed, low power consumption and low area specifications for the digital
part. By developing beam-forming solutions with a phased antenna array
approach, IMEC overcomes the low signal-to-noise performance from which
60GHz silicon-based radios typically suffer.
IMECís 45nm 60GHz ICs: receiver front-end
A first major breakthrough, presented at ISSCC, is the realization of a
digitally controlled 57-66GHz receiver RF front-end in 45nm digital CMOS
with a noise figure of only 6dB. Its small area of only 150x150Ķm
(squared), its low power consumption of 19mA at 1.1V supply voltage, and
full-digital control makes it highly suitable for phased-array systems.
Next, IMEC presents a fully integrated 57-66GHz phase-locked loop (PLL).
The PLL, which outperforms all previous designs in terms of tuning range,
is the first to provide quadrature output phases at mm-wave frequencies,
such that it can be readily used in a zero-IF architecture. The circuit
consumes only 78mW at 1.1V supply voltage.
"Based on the presented results we can realize uncompressed high definition
video distribution with 16 antenna paths over 10 meter range with a power
consumption of only 1.6W for the complete receiver" said Rudy Lauwereins,
Vice President Smart Systems Technology Office at IMEC.
Finally, IMEC reports a world-first mm-wave power amplifier in 45nm digital
CMOS with state-of-the-art output power and adequate ESD protection. The
push-pull power amplifier features a 1dB compression point of 11dBm between
50 and 67GHz at 1.1V supply voltage.
"Industry is reluctant to design 60GHz circuits due to the major challenges
related to this mm-wave part of the RF spectrum. These excellent, first
time right, 60GHz designs in 45nm CMOS show IMEC's expertise in 60GHz
design and the potential of our design methodology;" said Rudy Lauwereins.
"We invite industry to join our 60GHz research program to benefit from this
knowledge and from IMEC's advanced heterogeneous integration technologies
enabling second generation real single-chip 60GHz radio solutions by 2010."
What's more, IMEC has also integrated its 45nm multiple antenna RF
front-end chip together with IMEC proprietary antennas and antenna
interface using PCB technology. The performance of this module has been
demonstrated in a wireless setup validating IMEC's baseband processing
algorithms for IEEE15.3c compliant reception.