GLOBALFOUNDRIES joins imec to develop innovative RF solutions for Internet of Things applications

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a provider of advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology, today announced a partnership with imec, a nanoelectronics research center, for joint research on future radio architectures and designs for highly integrated mobile devices and IoT applications.

A key challenge for next-generation mobile devices is controlling the cost and footprint of the radio and antenna interface circuitry, which contain all of the components that process a cellular signal across the various supported frequency bands. Today, a typical mobile device must support up to 28 bands for worldwide 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE network connectivity, and more complex carrier aggregation schemes and additional frequency bands are expected for future generations. These challenges are driving the need for an agile radio that integrates many of the separate components into one piece of silicon, including power amplifiers, antenna switches, and tuners and provides a solution which is both flexible and low cost.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will closely collaborate with technical experts from imec to investigate low-power and compact high-performance agile radio solutions that will enable a broad range of radio architecture design–targeting improvements in area, performance and power consumption. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will also partner with imec to develop innovative ultra-low power IC design solutions leveraging GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ CMOS technology to address the demanding requirements of tomorrow’s IoT devices. Ultimately, the partnership aims to build a technology and design infrastructure that will enable future RF architectures while minimizing critical interface requirements for radio power consumption and performance.

“This collaboration expands our relationship with imec, and we’re eager to leverage their R&D expertise in RF technology to accelerate time-to-volume of designs and deliver leading-edge RF technology to our customers,” said Peter Rabbeni, director RF Segment Marketing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “This relationship further reflects our commitment to find RF design implementations that will efficiently extend the range of wireless communication applications without increasing the form factor or cost.”

“There are advanced chip technology challenges the industry needs to address to enable a higher level of integration and lower power consumption for future wireless communication,” said Harmke de Groot, senior director Perceptive Systems for the Internet of Things. “Imec is pleased to welcome GLOBALFOUNDRIES as a partner in ultra-low power wireless design. Leveraging imec’s advanced IC technology knowhow and system design experience, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ CMOS technology, we will accelerate the investigation and develop new approaches.”


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