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Imec, ROHM team up for ultra-low power radio

Posted: 10 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Imec  ROHM Semiconductor  radio  wireless device  power amplifier 

Imec and ROHM Semiconductor Co. Ltd have joined forces in a strategic partnership for research collaboration on ultra-low power (ULP) radio technology aimed at small battery-operated wireless devices. 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 allow notable reduction of the power consumption of the complete radio system.

In current short-range radios, the power amplifier (PA) typically uses about 50 per cent of the total power consumption of the system, while the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) is responsible for another 30-40 per cent 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.

By combining innovative architectures, advanced ULP design IP and efficient low power circuits, Imec's ULP radios claim to 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 modern 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. "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."

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