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Home > News > Industry News > Imec produces ADC and RF front.....

Imec produces ADC and RF front-end for 5G

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-09-06
Imec has profuced two 5G building blocks –  a SAR ADC operating in the below-6GHz frequency bands (4G/5G) and a 60GHz front-end RF phase shifting and on-chip transmit-receive switching.

5G mobile networks, promise massive connectivity through much higher data rates, lower latency and lower battery consumption than current 4G standards.

To realize this, frequencies below 6GHz and also millimeter-wave frequencies, especially at the 57-66GHz unlicensed band, are explored, promising speeds of multi-Gb/s with low latency.

“Imec is developing novel IP building blocks for 5G, operating below-6GHz as well as in the 60GHz frequency band,” says Imec’s Wim Van Thillo,  “our portfolio includes record-breaking analog-to-digital convertors (ADCs), reconfigurable low-noise frequency synthesizers, millimeter-wave phased array transceivers, antenna modules and more. These building blocks show state-of-the art performance, excel in low-power operation and are low cost by leveraging scaled CMOS technologies. They give our partners a unique advantage in realizing their next-generation SoC for 5G wireless communication”

Targeting smartphone applications in the below-6GHz band, imec has developed a compact, low-cost, low-power and high-speed (300Ms/s) ADC that meets the requirements of multimode multiband 5G communication.

The ADC is a SAR with a reduced core area of only 350µmx 325µm which is fabricated in 16nm CMOS. It achieves a dynamic low power consumption of only 3.6mW at 300Ms/s and low-frequency signal to noise and distortion ratio (SNDR) of 70.2dB at 204MS/s.

Imec also developed a compact, energy efficient and low-cost radio front-end (TRX) that operates at 60GHz. The chip features 8-way calibration-free beamforming at RF frequencies to support a large number of antennas, making the technology attractive for fixed wireless access and small cell backhaul.

The on-chip transmit-receive switching allows to share the antenna array between transmit and receive mode. The 9.6mm2 chip is implemented in 28nm CMOS and consumes 231mW in receive and 508mW in transmit mode (0.9V supply).