Imec and Murata to collaborate on reconfigurable radio research

June 27, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
European research group Imec is to work with Murata Manufacturing on a three year research collaboration on reconfigurable radio IC design.

Next-generation cellular technology such as LTE Advanced uses a broad range of operating frequencies and bandwidths, making multi-mode and reconfigurable capabilities are a must. Imec’s R&D program on reconfigurable radios investigates reconfigurable RF, high-speed/low-power analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and new approaches to digitize future RF architectures. One of the main challenges in designing fully reconfigurable radios is minimizing the stringent antenna interface requirements and making the antenna filters reconfigurable, hence the involvement of Japanese antenna giant Murata.

Murata will gain insight and better understanding in technology solutions and challenges for cognitive reconfigurable radio front-ends and enable a better assessment of the impact on antenna interface components. Murata’s expertise on components and system will assist Imec’s research towards fully reconfigurable radios.

“Imec was chosen as R&D partner because of its longstanding expertise and excellent track-record in reconfigurable radio IC design” said Norio Nakajima, Vice President Module Business Unit at Murata. “We hope that this collaboration will give us insight into the technology and design challenges for next-generation reconfigurable radios. This is important to leverage our vast knowhow in antenna interface components and to identify new opportunities for next generation front-end modules.”

"We are excited with this agreement with Murata, as it emphasizes the prominent role of Imec as R&D centre in reconfigurable radio design,” said Liesbet Van der Perre, director of the green radio programs at Imec. “With our R&D program on reconfigurable radios, we gather industrial players from across the value chain, to jointly develop next-generation reconfigurable radios. By combining fundamental rethinking of the circuit architectures and designs, and clever use of the benefits of deeply scaled digital CMOS technologies, we aim to develop reconfigurable radio transceivers competitive in terms of area, cost, performance and power consumption. The transceivers will cover all key broadband communication standards including LTE and LTE advanced, digital broadcasting and next-generation WiFi including 802.11n and ac.”