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RFaxis stellt RF Frontend-Produktreihe für IEEE 802.11ac mit CMOS-Technologie in Nanometergröße vor

RFaxis, Inc., ein führendes Fabless-Halbleiterunternehmen mit Fokus auf innovativen RF-Lösungen der nächsten Generation für drahtlose Verbindungen und mobile Anwendungen, hat heute die Markteinführung einer Serie von Nano-RF-Produkten unter dem Namen „Nucleus“ angekündigt.

Das erste Gerät, Nucleus45, ist ein vollständig integrierter 5GHz 802.11ac RF Frontend IC (RFeIC) mit 40nm-CMOS-Prozesstechnologie und soll strategischen Kunden im vierten Quartal 2014 als Muster bereitgestellt werden. Ein Dual-Band-/Dual-Modus-RFeIC mit dem gleichen 40nm-Knoten, nämlich Nucleus4, wird im ersten Quartal 2015 verfügbar sein. Darüber hinaus wird das Unternehmen die nächste Version seiner Nucleus2-Produktserie einführen, die einen reibungslosen Übergang von 40nm- zu 28nm-Prozessknoten ermöglicht.

Angesichts explosionsartiger Wachstumsraten bleibt der enorme Erfolg von Wi-Fi am Markt ungebrochen, angetrieben von wichtigen Anwendungen wie Smartphones, PCs/Tablets, HD-Video-Streaming und dem Internet of Things (IoTs). Laut Strategy Analytics wurden 2013 über 2 Milliarden Wi-Fi-Chips ausgeliefert und bis 2017 wird eine jährliche Absatzmenge von über 3 Milliarden prognostiziert.

Um die Geschwindigkeit und die Durchsatzrate von Echtzeitdaten für Drahtlosverbindungen weiter zu verbessern, geht die Wi-Fi-Branche rapide auf den neuesten IEEE-Standard 802.11ac über. Dieser unterstützt moderne Modulationsschemata wie 256QAM, bis zu 8x8 MIMO (Multiple-In Multiple-Out) und MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO) und ermöglicht dadurch beispiellose Datengeschwindigkeiten von bis zu 10 Gbps. Anbieter von Wi-Fi-SoCs gehen stetig zu kleineren CMOS-Prozessknoten für die nächste Version ihrer Produkte über, um die Größe weiter zu reduzieren, die Prozessorkapazität zu verbessern und das Integrationsniveau zu steigern.

Während die CMOS-Technologie den Übergang zu tieferen Submikron-Knoten wie 40nm, 32nm und 28nm vollzieht, wirft die sinkende Versorgungsspannung, zusammen mit passiven Verlusten in Verbindung mit Substratleckagen, Schwierigkeiten hinsichtlich der Konstruktion von RF PAs (Radio Frequency Power Amplifiers) und Frontend-Modulen mit Hochleistungskapazität, guter Linearität und wettbewerbsfähiger Produktivität auf. Andererseits bieten diese Nanometer-dimensionierten CMOS-Komponenten eine Vielfalt neuer Funktionen und Vorteile wie eine beispiellose Signalverarbeitungsleistung, die für RF-/Analog-Konstruktionen enorme Vorteile liefern können, sofern sie richtig eingesetzt werden.

Beispielsweise wird DPD (Digital Pre-Distortion) heutzutage routinemäßig auf regulären Wi-Fi-SoCs eingesetzt, um eine angemessene On-Chip-Ausgangsleistung mit guter Linearität für die OFDM-Modulation zu ermöglichen, während sich ET (Envelope Tracking) rapide zu einer vielversprechenden Hilfstechnologie für CMOS-Leistungsverstärker entwickelt als Ersatz für derzeitige GaAs-basierte PAs für 3G/4G-LTE-Mobilgeräte-Anwendungen.

Während diese leistungsstarken und hochentwickelten digitalen Techniken zur Steuerung und Verbesserung beliebiger RF-Frontend-Lösungen eingesetzt werden können, werden die besten Synergien erzielt, wenn sowohl der SoC (Basisband/Sendeempfänger) als auch die RF-Komponenten mit der gleichen CMOS-Technologie konstruiert und hergestellt werden. Genau das ist das Ziel von RFaxis bei seiner Nucleus-Produktserie. Dank patentierter Architektur, eigens entwickelter fortschrittlicher Technologie und Konstruktions-Know-how im Unternehmen hat RFaxis mehrere technische Hürden genommen und die Kunst gemeistert, hohe und lineare RF-Leistung mit Niederspannung-CMOS-Geräten zu erzielen.

Ein hervorragendes Beispiel ist RFX240 von RFaxis, ein 2,4GHz 11b/g/n/ac Leistungsverstärker auf der Grundlage der 0,18um CMOS-Standardtechnologie, der 26dBm (400mW) lineare Leistung mit 3 Prozent EVM für 64QAM OFMD bei 5V Versorgungsspannung liefert. Gleichzeitig wird eine hervorragende Power Added Efficiency (PAE) erzielt, die den auf GaAs- oder SiGe-Prozessen basierenden Konstruktionsdesigns der Konkurrenten überlegen ist. RFaxis verfügt über ein umfassendes Portfolio an 2,4/5GHz-RFeICs, die mit PA, LNA und Antennenumschaltern ausgestattet und serienmäßig hergestellt werden. Sie bieten erstklassige Leistung bei unvergleichlichen Preisen dank kostengünstiger CMOS-Prozesstechnologie.

Die RFaxis-Nucleus-Produktpalette

RFaxis testet mit der Nucleus-Produktpalette weiterhin die Grenzen des Möglichen, insofern als das Unternehmen hochleistungsfähige RF in Nanometer-Prozessknoten integriert. Nucleus45 ist konzipiert, um 18dBm Ausgangsleistung bereitzustellen und dabei die strengsten Linearitätsanforderungen der 256QAM-Modulation für 11ac zu erfüllen – ohne dabei DPD-Techniken zu verwenden. Der integrierte LNA ermöglicht einen extrem niedrigen Lärmpegel von 2,5dB auf Systemebene, während alle Verluste in Verbindung mit Impedanzanpassung und Antennenumschaltung eingeschlossen sind. Die RF-Leistung gleicht derjenigen von ultramodernen Konstruktionsdesigns aus erheblich teureren Halbleiterprozessen wie GaAs, SiGe oder SOI.

Die Nucleus-Lösung bietet der Wireless-Branche eine Methode, um robuste RF, digitale und Misch-Signal-Designs in tieferen Mikron-Prozessknoten zu synchronisieren. So werden Kunden in die Lage versetzt, ihre RF-Leistungsziele mit beschleunigten Produktentwicklungszyklen, erheblich verringertem Entwicklungsrisiko und verkürzter Markteinführungszeit zu erreichen, während sie enorme Investitionen in Forschung und Entwicklung vermeiden.

„RF Frontend-Module spielen eine entscheidende Rolle in Bezug auf die Maximierung der Kompaktheit und die Sicherstellung der höchsten Datenraten für drahtlose Kommunikationsgeräte wie Smartphones und Tablets“, erklärte Mike Neshat, Chairman und CEO von RFaxis. „Aufgrund der mit dem RF-Design verbundenen einzigartigen Schwierigkeiten hat sich die Wireless-Branche bis jetzt auf teure Technologien auf Basis von Gallium-Arsenide (GaAs) oder Silicon Germanium (SiGe) für die RF-Frontend-Anforderungen verlassen. RFaxis ist weltweit das erste und einzige Unternehmen, das komplette RF-Frontend-Lösungen mit reiner CMOS-Prozesstechnologie zu bahnbrechenden Preisen liefert, ohne bei der Leistung Abstriche zu machen.“

„Mit der Einführung von Nucleus verfolgt RFaxis zielstrebig seine Mission, der Wireless-Branche eine RF-Frontend-Lösung zu liefern, die auf CMOS-Technologie gründet und nahtlos mit gängigen SoCs für Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth oder dem Internet of Things integriert werden kann“, sagte Mike Neshat.

Über RFaxis, Inc.

Das im März 2009 gegründete Unternehmen RFaxis Inc. hat seinen Unternehmenssitz in Irvine im US-Bundesstaat Kalifornien und spezialisiert sich auf die Entwicklung und Konstruktion von RF-Halbleitern. Mit seinen patentierten Technologien ist das Unternehmen wegweisend auf dem Gebiet drahtloser Lösungen für milliardenschwere Märkte wie WLAN 802.11b/g/a/n/ac, MIMO, IoT/M2M, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT, 6LoWPAN, AMR/AMI und drahtlose Audio/Video-Übertragungen. Unter Ausnutzung purer CMOS-Technologie in Verbindung mit seinen eigenen innovativen Ansätzen, patentierten Technologien und Geschäftsgeheimnissen verfügt RFaxis über den ersten RF Frontend Integrated Circuit (RFeIC™). Weitere Informationen finden sich unter www.rfaxis.com.

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