Renesas Technology has entered into research collaboration with IMEC, Europe's independent nanoelectronics research centre. The joint venture will concentrate on developing 45nm RF transceivers targeted at Gbit/s cognitive radios. Accordingly, Renesas has joined IMEC's 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 be located at IMEC's facility during the collaborative work.

In the near term, IMEC's SDR-front-end program will focus on the development of a new generation cost-, performance and power-competitive reconfigurable radio in 45nm digital CMOS technology. This radio will have a programmable centre 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 is expected to build on IMEC's previous 130nm RF transceiver work which included the world's first prototype of a true SDR transceiver IC (SCALDIO). Also, further versions of IMEC's ADCs (merit record by IMEC at ISSCC 2008 of 40Msamples/s, 9 bit, 54fJ/conversion step) will be developed within this collaboration.