IMEC AND SEVEN INDUSTRIAL PARTNERS TARGET 2002 COMPLETION DATE FOR WIRELESS MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATION13/03/2000
Munich, 13 March 2000…. Infineon Technologies and Sony have recently joined IMEC’s industrial affiliation program (IIAP) on integrated transceivers for broadband wireless multimedia communication. Today, the IIAP is running at full speed through the partnership with seven major semiconductor companies.
This collaborative program aims to integrate a complete transceiver, consisting of an antenna, an RF front-end, a baseband processor and a protocol processor in a single high-performance, low-cost and low-power package for 5GHz WLAN (wireless local area network) solutions.
The driving application is an in-door wireless network with a capacity of well over 100 Mbit/s. New algorithms and IP blocks are being designed that will improve the system performance by several orders of magnitude. All parts of the system ranging from an optimized RF front-end over dedicated baseband digital processing, to a protocol with quality of service provisions are taken into account.
IMEC uses a SiP approach (RF systems-in-a-package), integrating complete transceivers in a single package based on a thin-film multi-chip-module (MCM-D) technology. The heart of the system is a MCM-D substrate in which microwave passives are embedded. Active (Bi)CMOS circuitry and MEMS devices can be mounted on the substrate using wire bonding or flip-chip techniques. This substrate is further mounted in a BGA style package which will eventually contain other functions such as an antenna. This approach enables the use of the optimal technology, in terms of cost and performance, for each function of the system.
Today, an RF front-end has been implemented in a highly integrated single package solution, integrating commercially available components with MCM-D passives. The receiver front-end will be further developed, combining the MCM-D passives with custom designed ICs for the active circuits.
Research in baseband processing mainly focuses on modulation techniques with frequency domain processing such as OFDM. Recently IMEC announced the realization of an improved OFDM baseband ASIC, developed in a 0.18µm CMOS technology. Data rates of up to 54Mbit/s were achieved.
This ASIC will be the cornerstone for the next generation of wireless networks, consisting of several base stations and mobile terminals, with a network capacity exceeding 100Mbit/s which IMEC expects to demonstrate by 2002.
“The growing market pressure for high-performance semiconductors compels the industry to introduce new technologies at an unprecedented speed. This, together with intensifying technological challenges, generate enormous investments in R&D, which necessitates global collaboration efforts between companies, independent laboratories and academia,” states Prof. Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. “Our partnership with seven major semiconductor companies on the development of integrated broadband wireless communication proves the success of IMEC’s cooperation scheme that is based on cost sharing and risk reduction.”
IMEC was founded in 1984 and today is Europe's leading independent research center for the development and licensing of microelectronics, and information and communication technologies (ICT). IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has a staff of more than 1000 people including more than 200 industrial residents. Its more than $100 million revenue is derived from agreements and contracts with Flemish government, the EC, MEDEA, the European Space Agency, equipment and material suppliers and semiconductor companies worldwide. IMEC's activities concentrate on design of integrated information and communication systems; silicon process technology; silicon technology and device integration; microsystems, components and packaging; advanced training in microelectronics. IMEC has a sub-0.25µm 200mm pilot line and is ISO9001 certified. News from IMEC is located at www.imec.be.
For more information:
Marianne Van den Broeck
Public Relations and Marketing Communications
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75
B- 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Tel +32 16 28 14 91 Fax +32 16 28 16 37