LONDON CEA-Leti (Grenoble, France) and Nokia have developed a radio frequency front-end IC that supports high-data rate short-range communications between a reader, typically a mobile phone, and a memory tag, which is due to be presented at the upcoming VLSI Symposium.
The chip supports a data rate of 112-Mbit/s, a couple of orders of magnitude improvement over RFID systems and is being used in the Nokia Explore-and-Share prototype phone where it can be used to download an album of music in seconds.
The communication system combines impulse Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), used for data transfer and narrow-band UHF signal used for synchronization and the supply of power for remote powering.
The circuit expends 58-pJ/bit and 48-pJ/bit in transmit and receive respectively. It operates in the 7.9-GHz UWB frequency band for full duplex communication and is remotely powered through the UHF continuous wave signal. The circuit was fabricated by Leti in a 130-nanometer 1.2-volt CMOS process.
The IC is used in both transmit and receive links and can be powered from the narrow-band signal and then itself provide power for an external non-volatile memory device to receive the downloaded data. The circuit also includes a battery-powered mode to increase the reading distance.
CEA-Leti and Nokia Research Center have cowritten a paper due to be presented at the 2010 Symposium on Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) Technology and Circuits. The 2010 VLSI Symposium will be held on June 15-18, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Related links and articles:
CEA-Leti claims fully CMOS-compatible laser source
Nokia sues Apple over iPhone, iPad
Brazilian firm claims nation's first home-grown IC