IMEC creates single chip 60GHz radio in 45nm digital cmos

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At this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference, IMEC is describing a 60GHz front end receive chain, phase locked loop and power amplifier created in 45nm digital cmos.

The Belgian research institute says the development will pave the way to ‘true one chip’ 60GHz radios by 2010. “Industry is reluctant to design 60GHz circuits due to the major challenges related to this millimetre wave part of the rf spectrum, said Rudy Lauwereins, vice president of IMEC’s smart systems technology office. “These right first time 60GHz designs in 45nm cnos show IMEC’s expertise in 60GHz design and the potential of our design methodology. 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.” The first breakthrough is a digitally controlled 57 to 66GHz receiver rf front end. With a noise figure of 6dB and a die area of 150x150µm, the part consumes consumption of 19mA from a 1.1V supply. Full digital control is said to make it suitable for phased array systems. Meanwhile, an integrated 57 to 66GHz PLL is said to be the first to provide quadrature output phases at mm-wave frequencies. It consumes 78mW at 1.1V. According to Lauwereins, the chips support uncompressed high definition video distribution with 16 antenna paths over 10m, with a power consumption of only 1.6W for the complete receiver. The final elements is a mm-wave power amplifier. This push-pull devices features a 1dB compression point of 11dBm between 50 and 67GHz at 1.1V supply voltage.