Closing in on a single-chip cell phone

Fan, Robert
December 2004
Portable Design;Dec2004, Vol. 10 Issue 12, p24
The article focuses on the development of a single chip combining both the cellular transceiver and baseband functions. A driving force behind the growth of demands for cellular-handsets is additional functionality and the continuing reduction in size and cost made possible by the scaling of silicon technologies within the semiconductor building blocks. Currently, RF front-end components such as power amplifiers, switch-plexers and receiver matching networks are being integrated in the form of modules. The development of a single chip will enable the most cost-effective solution for handsets and handhelds. Because Bluetooth and wireless LAN single-chip subsystems are already shipping in the millions today, a single-chip cell phone is considered to be the Holy Grail for many silicon vendors. To achieve integration with the baseband function, CMOS is the process technology of choice for the transceiver. CMOS enables the efficient implementation of DSP functions with RF/mixed-signal circuits on one IC to address the tough cellular performance requirements.


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