Last year we showcased the incredible potential of CMOS when UltraCMOS® technology uses Intelligent Integration to provide the combination of reliability, smaller footprint, improved performance, greater system capability, and flexibility.
We demonstrated this potential by releasing the world’s first RF switch to operate at zero Hertz, replacing mechanical relays while integrating Analog, digital, and rf functions on a single die in order to enable features such as Analog DC-offset voltage tracking, digital logic control, and high performance rf switching.
Later we released our Monolithic Phase & Amplitude Controller, a single-chip, digitally-controlled solution used to optimize the performance of a Doherty power amplifier architecture. A single device which incorporates maximum phase and amplitude tuning flexibility for the carrier and peaking path with an integrated 90 degree splitter.
And now we are extending our phase and amplitude control capability into the microwave domain for Analog signal processing. Using intelligent integration, UltraCMOS RFICs provide a clear advantage to applications such as Wireless Infrastructure, 5G, Beamforming, Interference Cancellation, and commercial SAR applications such as weather radar, air traffic control, and phased array antenna for satellites. For example, next generation cellular systems will rely more on beamforming antennas to improve data rates and provide users with better quality of service (pause) or QOS. These antennas require advanced signal processing capabilities in order to accurately steer multiple signals simultaneously.
Leveraging the phase and amplitude control capability we’ve successfully developed for our MPAC product, we’re able to provide the phase and amplitude accuracy to enable fast, reconfigurable antennas for the next generation 5G solutions. Key to achieving the desired performance are intelligent arrays. In each antenna, the phase and amplitude of the signal can be independently and accurately controlled.
Let’s take a look at a typical beamforming example using signals received from a wireless transmitter. With increased accuracy, resolution, and speed of reconfiguration, intelligent arrays can be further optimized for their overall performance – whether it be the fundamental beam pattern or reducing unwanted interferers, either through interference nulling during the receive function or through better side-lobe suppression during transmission. When the phase accuracy and resolution of the array is low the directionality of the beam is also low. Increasing the phase accuracy and resolution increases the directionality and the ability to focus the signal at a specific handset. Further fine tuning the phase relationships of all the elements in an array can create nulling effects that can be leveraged to mitigate effects of interferers and help reduce the level of interference generated, improving overall signal quality and giving the user better QOS.
We’ve leveraged the success of the integrated phase and amplitude control of our MPAC products to start developing core chips that can utilize integrated digital capability to give the flexibility needed to tune gain and phase at fine resolution. Ideal for high density, compact arrays, such as the ones being developed for 5G, the UltraCMOS core chip uses intelligent integration to provide a flexible analog processing solution with digital programmability that works seamlessly together on a single, monolithic chip. Memory elements can be added to the core chip which allows pre-loading of configurations that can be automatically cycled at high speed. All of this without degradation in RF performance, especially linearity. And, UltraCMOS process consistency guarantees the reliability and repeatability of each device, resulting in a single-chip solution with the performance and versatility ideal for a wide-range of microwave applications.
This Configurability, Flexibility, Repeatability, Ease of Use, and Performance is only possible with UltraCMOS technology.
Intelligent Integration. UltraCMOS Technology.