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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

NEC Develops 60-GHz-Band CMOS Transceiver With World's Highest Output Power

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via PRNewswire

TOKYO and SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- NEC Corporation today announced the successful development of a 60-GHz-band(1) wireless transceiver with the world's highest output power(2). Based on low-cost standard CMOS technology, the newly developed transceiver has been designed to enable consumer wireless systems with multi-gigabit data transmission.

Features of the transceiver circuits (1) A new design approach has been established to maximize the output power delivered by the power amplifier (PA), while maintaining sufficient long-term reliability -- conventionally a severe, unpredictable problem for millimeter-wave(3) CMOS technology. This enabled the world's highest output power of 7 milliwatt (mW) at a supply voltage as low as 0.7 volts. (2) Fundamental blocks for the receiver and transmitter(4) were integrated into each individual chip. The transmitter and receiver chips were fabricated based on standard 90-nm CMOS technology and demonstrated a data rate of 2.6 gigabits per second (Gbps).

The 60-GHz band is suited to high-speed wireless transmissions with bit rates exceeding 2 gigabits per second (Gbps), and has been adopted as the license-free band in the U.S., Canada and Japan . Wireless technology that utilizes this frequency band is considered to be the only existing solution to transmit truly uncompressed HDTV signal transmission with a data rate between 1.5 and 3 Gbps. The wireless technology has also been proposed to enable ultra-fast download of data to mobile terminals. Recently, there have been strong advancements in standardization to realize wireless specifications, including WirelessHDTM(5) and IEEE802.15.3c(6).

Conventional millimeter-wave circuits primarily use compound semiconductor technologies, such as those in Gallium-Arsenide-based devices. These technologies easily realize high performance in the 60 GHz range; however they are difficult to highly integrate with digital logic circuits. On the other hand, current standard CMOS technology possesses high integration capabilities and potential low manufacturing costs and is improving circuit performance even in the millimeter-wave range due to the miniaturization of CMOS devices. However, the issue still remains as to how to achieve high output power, while maintaining sufficient long-term reliability of CMOS transistors.

NEC has established a new design approach, based on reliability analysis of CMOS transistors in large-signal operation, to maximize the millimeter-wave output power. The newly developed CMOS transceiver based on this approach has demonstrated the highest output power yet achieved, in addition to 2.6-Gbps data transmission under quadrature-phase-shift-keying (QPSK) modulation. The new technology is applicable to short-range wireless networking systems and is expected to realize new applications for low-cost 60-GHz equipment for wireless transmission of HDTV signals and ultra-fast, wireless down-loading systems.

NEC will continue to carry out extensive research on the new wireless technology with the aim of early commercialization for high-speed wireless solutions in home and office environments to leverage the emerging next-generation network (NGN).

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