News | June 11, 2014

Imec Reports Record ADC For Next-Generation Software Defined Radio

14bit 200MSamples/s dynamic pipelined SAR ADC in 28nm digital CMOS achieves a peak resolution of 70.7dB only 2.3mWatt 

Nanoelectronics research centre imec will present at this week’s VLSI circuits symposium 2014 (Honolulu, June 13) a low power pipelined SAR (successive-approximation register) ADC (analog to digital converter) in 28nm digital CMOS with record resolution, speed and power performance. The novel ADC targets wireless receivers for next-generation software defined radio, including wireless standards such as LTE-advanced and the emerging generation of Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11ac). 

In a software defined radio, the ADC needs high speed, high resolution and high power efficiency in a dynamic solution, supporting high, as well as low bandwidth standards. The pipelined SAR ADC developed by imec and Renesas Electronics achieves an excellent peak SNDR (signal to noise distortion ratio) of 70.7dB at a speed as high as 200MS/s while consuming only 2.3mW at 0.9V supply voltage. Moreover, the implementation in 28nm digital CMOS not only adds to its area and power efficiency, but also supports digitalization of the radio.

“This novel ADC architecture is an important achievement in imec’s R&D program on future wireless technologies, focusing on the development of highly flexible software-defined radios that support high bandwidth and well as low bandwidth standards,” commented Liesbet Van der Perre, program director wireless technologies at imec. “The architecture is based on prior groundbreaking ADC designs from imec, cleverly exploiting the opportunities of modern advanced CMOS technologies. Scaling toward smaller technology nodes will result in an even better performance of the ADC.”

Interested companies have access to imec’s ADC designs by joining imec’s industrial affiliation program, or through IP licensing.

About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of over 2,080 people includes more than 670 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2013, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 332 million euro. For more information, visit www.imec.be. 

SOURCE: Imec

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