imec, Renesas Technology, and M4S announced a complete transceiver with RF, baseband, and data converter circuits in 40nm low-power CMOS. The fully reconfigurable transceiver is compatible with various wireless standards and applications, including the upcoming mobile broadband 3GPP-LTE standard. In a next phase of imec’s ‘green radio’ research program, the focus will be on further reducing the bill of materials and energy consumption by continuing the research on digitally-inspired SAW-less transceivers and power efficient transmitters.
The flexible receiver, including analog-to-digital converter, is fully software configurable across all channels in the frequency bands between 100MHz and 6GHz. The RF carrier frequency, channel bandwidth, noise figure, linearity, and filter characteristics can be adapted to the requirements of the communication standard that is used. It combines high sensitivities with low phase noise and high linearity. These can be traded for lower power consumption depending on the needs of a particular standard.
The flexible transmitter reaches low out-of-band noise, targeting SAW-less 3GPP-LTE operation. The transceiver integrates this multi-standard programmability in an extremely small chip area of only 5mm2 while achieving state-of-the-art performance and power consumption for each covered standard. It is competitive to recent single mode radios in mobile devices — handsets, smart phones, PDAs, PC cards, USB dongles, etc.
The trend in wireless communication where terminals give users ubiquitous access to a multitude of services drives the development of reconfigurable radios in deep-submicron CMOS. This is enhanced with the advent of 3GPP-LTE, a standard that is inherently so flexible that a reconfigurable radio is its most economical implementation. The single-chip reconfigurable transceiver developed by imec, Renesas, and M4S provides an answer to this need.