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4/22/2008 1:09:39 AM
Renesas collaborates with IMEC on reconfigurable RF transceivers

Renesas Technology Corp., one of the world's leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets, has entered into a strategic research collaboration with IMEC, Europe's leading independent research center in the field of nanoelectronics, to perform research on 45nm RF transceivers targeting Gbit/s cognitive radios. To this end, Renesas has joined IMECís software-defined radio (SDR) front-end program. This research program includes reconfigurable RF solutions, high-speed/low-power analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and new approaches to digitize future RF architectures.

Researchers from Renesas will reside at IMEC to closely collaborate with IMECís research team. In this way, they will build a fundamental understanding and develop robust solutions for Renesas future mobile electronics products.

On the near term, IMECís SDR-front-end program targets the development of a new generation cost-, performance- and power-competitive reconfigurable radio in 45nm digital CMOS technology. This radio will have a programmable center frequency from 100MHz to 6GHz and programmable bandwidth from 100kHz to 40MHz covering all key communication standards, with a merit comparable to state-of-the-art single mode transceivers.

The research program builds on IMECís previous groundbreaking 130nm RF transceiver results (published at ISSCC 2007), namely the worldís first prototype of a true SDR transceiver IC (SCALDIO). Also, further evolutions of IMECís record breaking ADCs (merit record by IMEC at ISSCC 2008 of 40Msamples/s, 9 bit, 54fJ/conversion step) will be developed within this collaboration.

"We are excited that one of the worldís leading semiconductor companies has joined our SDR-front-end program. This proves the importance of our recent results on SDR and ADCs, and reflects the value IMEC brings to its industry partners in this RF research program;" said Rudy Lauwereins, Vice President Nomadic Embedded Systems at IMEC. "We are looking forward to a close cooperation with the Renesas research team, to develop together our upcoming generation of breakthrough RF designs.

"The ability to develop an innovative RF architecture with scaled-down CMOS technology and circuit technologies in transceiver products supporting next-generation cellular standards such as 3GPP-LTE and 4Gís is one of the key differentiators for our products that are superior in cost advantages, performance and power," said Masao Nakaya, board director and executive general manager of LSI product technology unit at Renesas Technology Corp. "We are pleased to be a part of IMECís SDR-front-end program, collaborating on the research to explore new technologies for multi-standard RF transceivers. We aim to contribute to the early realization of next generation mobile phones by combining our advanced semiconductor solutions with IMECís R&D expertise in RF technology."

Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world's leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world's No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501, NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TSE:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 953billion JPY in FY2006 (end of March 2007). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,500 employees worldwide. For further information, please visit http://www.renesas.com

IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMECís research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems. IMEC vzw is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands, IMEC-NL, concentrating on wireless autonomous transducer solutions, and has representatives in the US, China, Japan and Taiwan. Its staff of more than 1600 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2007, its revenue (P&L) is estimated at about EUR 235 million. Further information on IMEC can be found on http://www.imec.be.

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