News | April 7, 2014

ROHM Semiconductor And imec Join Forces For Ultra-Low Power Radio Research And Development

Collaborative Effort to Develop Critical Radio Components With Ultra-low Power Performance

Nanoelectronics research center imec and ROHM Semiconductor Co. Ltd., a world-leading supplier of electronic components, announced recently that they have entered into a strategic partnership for research collaboration on ultra-low power (ULP) radio technology for small battery-operated wireless devices.

In current short-range radios, the Power Amplifier typically uses around 50 percent of the total power consumption of the system, while the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) is responsible for another 30-40 percent of the power consumption. While a low power PA can contribute to the low power consumption of transmission only, a low power PLL can contribute to both the low power consumption of transmission and reception. As a member of imec’s ULP wireless systems program, researchers from ROHM will closely collaborate with imec’s research team at Holst Centre, to jointly develop RF technology components that enable significant reduction of the power consumption of the complete radio system. By combining innovative architectures, advanced ULP design IP and efficient low power circuits, imec’s ULP radios achieve best-in-class performance and reduce power consumption between three to ten times that of today’s radios. Moreover, imec’s ULP high-performance radios are compliant with state-of-the-art wireless standards, such as Bluetooth Low Energy and ZigBee.

“Combining application, circuits and technology know-how, imec/Holst Centre provides a complete solution, shortening the time-to-market for our industrial partners,” said Harmke de Groot, program director ULP wireless technologies at imec/Holst Centre. “We are pleased that ROHM Semiconductor has joined our ULP wireless systems R&D program. This partnership reinforces the value of our research to leading industrial semiconductor companies.”

"ROHM Semiconductor is committed to supplying high quality wireless products to the market with ever increasing power efficiency," said Koji Taniuchi, Unit leader at Incubation Unit, R&D Headquarters, within ROHM Co., Ltd. "We further improve on our current strengths in the low power wireless communication LSI , by integrating a low power consumption PLL that is co-developed with imec. We expect that in the near future these results become standard technology in wireless sensor networks."

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 2012, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 320 million euro. For more information, visit www.imec.be.

About Holst Centre
Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D centre that develops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions and for Systems-in-Foil. A key feature of Holst Centre is its partnership model with industry and academia around shared roadmaps and programs. It is this kind of cross-fertilization that enables Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to industrial needs.

Holst Centre was set up in 2005 by imec (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The Netherlands) with support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Government of Flanders. It is named after Gilles Holst, a Dutch pioneer in Research and Development and first director of Philips Research.

Located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits from the state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 180 employees from around 28 nationalities and a commitment from more than 45 industrial partners. For more information, visit www.holstcentre.com

About ROHM Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1958, ROHM (CEO Satoshi Sawamura) offers system solutions for a broad range of markets, including consumer devices, mobile phones and telecommunications, and automotive equipment. ROHM provides LSI and discrete semiconductors characterized by outstanding quality and reliability through a global development and sales network.

ROHM is good vender for low power wireless communication field. ROHM also have a variety of technologies, which is suitable for wireless sensor network this is expected to extend demand near future. Headquartered in Kyoto, the company had consolidated net sales for March 2013 of 292.4 billion yen and currently employs approximately 20,203 people around the world. For more information, visit http://www.rohm.com. 

SOURCE: imec

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