NXP 5G baseband processors use analog specialist’s IP

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

IQ-Analog Corp. (San Diego, Calif.) was founded in December 2004 and an analog circuit licensing business model is how it exploits its expertise in data conversion to and from the digital domain. 5G communication systems can require ten times the number of antenna elements compared to LTE and ten times the bandwidth per antenna element creating data conversion bandwidth demand increased by up to a factor of 100.

This is bottleneck IQ-Analog sought to address with the development of TPWQ. The company was awarded a $4.5 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2016 to develop and validate the novel analog-to-digital converter (ADC) architecture (see DARPA funds novel ADC architecture development). The technology was initially demonstrated to customers in 2017 where it was shown to offer 50 times lower cost and four times lower power consumption than commercially available systems, according to IQ-Analog.

The technology was prototyped in Globalfoundries’ 14nm FinFET manufacturing process although IQ-Analog make hardware IP for multiple process technologies.

“IQ-Analog’s FinFET technologies enable emerging 5G networking solutions, as well as provide compelling architectural advantages in 4G LTE-Advanced network deployments supporting massive MIMO and active antenna systems (AAS) with unprecedented enhanced multi-beamforming and tracking,” said George Chrisikos, COO of IQ-Analog, in a statement. “This affords systems with significantly lower cost, power consumption, and die size over competitive solutions for macro cell base-stations, small cell access points and customer premises equipment (CPE). IQ-Analog is also commencing engagements with mobile handset SoC suppliers for 5G transceiver user equipment (UE) solutions,” he added.

“Our recently announced Layerscape Access processors offer the flexibility and performance required to enable rapid 5G deployments. By integrating IQ-Analog’s 4 and 16 gigasample per second (Gsps) high-speed converter technology, we are also able to deliver a more differentiated 5G solution for our OEM customers,” said Tareq Bustami, general manager of NXP’s digital networking business unit, in the same statement.

IQ-Analog uses temporal domain signal processing to provide enhanced digital antenna processing performance and power efficiency. The company has received more than $32 million in equity funding since its formation in 2004.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

DARPA funds novel ADC architecture development

Analog startup offers gigasample-per-second ADC core

Agile Analog rolls out first products


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