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7Gbps 60GHz transceiver IC implemented in 40nm low-power CMOS

May 02, 2012 // Julien Happich

7Gbps 60GHz transceiver IC implemented in 40nm low-power CMOS

Imec, in collaboration with Panasonic, has developed a prototype of a 60GHz radio transceiver allowing to reach data rates of 7Gbps over short distances at very low power consumption.


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The chip achieves this performance over the 4 channels specified by the IEEE802.11ad standard. Imec's low-power 60GHz solution is an important step towards adoption of 60GHz technology in low-cost battery-operated consumer products such as smart phones and tablets.

Todays wireless consumer electronic products increasingly include data-intensive applications, while applications below 10GHz such as WLAN face spectrum scarcity. This drives wireless system designers to explore higher frequency bands such as the unlicensed band around 60GHz. This band is available throughout the world and enables multi-Gbps wireless communication over short distances. However, to enable 60GHz radio solutions for portable mass-market products, cost, area and power consumption need to drastically decrease. Imecs ultra-low power CMOS-based solution is an important step to solve these challenges.

Imecs transceiver front-end prototype IC (integrated circuit) achieves an EVM (error vector management) better than -17dB for QAM16 modulation in the 4 channels specified by the IEEE802.11ad standard, reaching data rates of 7Gbps over short distances. The IC is implemented in 40nm LP (low-power) digital CMOS targeting low-cost volume production. The TX (transmitter) signal path, consisting of a power amplifier (PA) and a mixer, consumes only 90mW with 10.2dBm OP1dB.

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