Analog: Avoid Or Embrace?


We live in an analog world, but digital processing has proven quicker, cheaper and easier. Moving digital data around is only possible while the physics of wires can be safely abstracted away enough to provide reliable communications. As soon as a signal passes off-chip, the analog domain reasserts control for modern systems. Each of those transitions requires a data converter. The usage ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 16


Carbon nanotubes for RF Researchers at Carbonics, Inc., University of Southern California, and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, funded by the Army Research Office, propose using carbon nanotubes for radio frequency applications. The team's carbon nanotube device beat traditional RF-CMOS technology, achieved speeds exceeding 100GHz. This could boost mmWave, which in turn would... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research Smartphone shipments in China stood at 98.9 million units in the third quarter of 2019, down 3.6% year-on-year, according to IDC. Of that, 5G phone shipments in China have grown from virtually zero not long ago to 485,000 units in the third quarter of 2019, according to IDC. Vendors shipped devices amid the launch of commercial 5G services in October. The early smartphone le... » read more

Implementing A Multi-Domain System


IoT systems are multi-domain designs that often require AMS, Digital, RF, photonics and MEMS elements within the system. Tanner EDA provides an integrated, top-down design flow for IoT design that supports all these design domains. Learn more about key solutions that the Tanner design flow offers for successful IoT system design and verification. To read more, click here. » read more

Wolfspeed GaN: Rugged Enough For Tracking Space Junk, Rugged Enough For 5G


GaN RF devices are used throughout the world on projects in a broad range of applications such as surveillance and weather radar, first responder communications, and improvised explosive device (IED) protection systems, where downtime is not an option. But are they rugged and reliable enough to tackle the harshest environments the telecom market can hand out, especially as it relates to 5G smal... » read more

GaN Versus Silicon For 5G


The global race to launch 5G mmWave frequencies could provide a long-anticipated market opportunity for gallium nitride (GaN) as an alternative to silicon. GaN is more power-efficient than silicon for 5G RF. In fact, GaN has been the heir apparent to silicon in 5G power amplifiers for years, especially when it comes to mmWave 5G networks. What makes it so attractive is its ability to efficie... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Case Study—RF ASIC Validation Of A Satellite Transceiver


ASIC validation in the RF world comes with its own set of hurdles and challenges, with high-quality lab equipment, experience and know-how essential. A recently completed RF sub-system validation at S3 Semiconductors is presented in the form of a case study of the execution. The validation PCB design focussed on impedance matching and shielding RF signals from noise sources. We built up an effi... » read more

The Limits Of Energy Harvesting


Energy harvesting, once considered an inexpensive alternative to low-power design and a way of achieving nearly unlimited power in mobile devices, has settled down to more modest expectations. This approach to generating energy through a variety of means—from solar to motion to ambient RF and even pH differences between soil and trees—has been proven to work. The problem is that it doesn... » read more

5G Heats Up Base Stations


Before 5G can be deployed commercially on a large scale, engineers have to solve some stubborn problems—including how to make a hot technology a whole lot cooler. 5G-capable modem chipsets are already on the market from Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, MediaTek, Intel and Apple, with some 5G service (LTE-Advanced/LTE-Advanced Pro) available in the U.S. But still mostly missing from the 5G equati... » read more

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